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Connecticut

The Saugatuck River Watershed Partnership

The Saugatuck River Watershed Partnership is a collaboration between the eleven towns of Bethel, Danbury, Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton and The Nature Conservancy, as well as various stakeholder groups such as The Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut, Inc., The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Trout Unlimited and members of the local community.

Partnership Goals

The goal of the Partnership is to protect and enhance the health of the watershed by working collaboratively to link, maintain and restore habitats which support healthy populations representing the natural biological diversity of the watershed system.

The threats to the health of the Saugatuck River Watershed were identified during the Conservancy-led Conservation Planning Workshops, the outcome of which defined the goals of the Partnership.

These goals include promoting education and understanding of the watershed’s natural resources; protecting and restoring water quality in the watershed; protecting and enhancing stream flow; encouraging sound land use and management practices; controlling invasive species; restoring migratory fish passage; working to establish protective development guidelines; and facilitating communication and collaboration among individuals, governments and communities to protect the health of the Saugatuck River Watershed and promote research and distribute information about issues concerning the watershed, its management and health.

Partnership Projects and Accomplishments

Since the signing of the conservation compact, the Partnership and its volunteers have conducted streamwalk surveys that have assessed more than 60 miles of stream and riparian conditions within the watershed, undertaken fish passage projects that have opened up access to seven miles of river for migratory fish, and co-sponsored with the Norwalk River Watershed Initiative a Sediment and Erosion Control Workshop attended by 80 municipal representatives from 19 Connecticut towns. 

In the past year alone the Partnership completed its fourth annual macroinvertebrate survey with 80 volunteers, worked with 15 volunteers monitoring two electronic fish counters, helped to coordinate shoreline horseshoe crab surveys and tagging at local beaches, and opened up an additional three miles of river to migratory fish.

For more information on the Partnership or our activities, contact Sally Harold at sharold@tnc.org, (203) 226-4991 Ext. 207.

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