Urban Environmental Program in New England
Grants and Projects: Water Quality
“Water Resource Protection”
Approximately 85% of Bridgeport’s sanity/storm sewer system is combined and directs water through the City’s sewer treatment plants. Often times, storm water gets sent directly to waterways rather than treatment plants and during long periods of heavy rain, combined system water is released through overflow outlets into the Long Island Sound and other City waterways, contaminating them with untreated sewage and street water containing road and surface wastes such as oils, road salts, and fertilizers. This contamination causes shell fishing, fishing, and swimming to be prohibited. Groundwork Bridgeport is a nonprofit organization that works with young people on neighborhood clean up and beautification projects throughout Bridgeport, CT. This project seeks to increase stewardship practices that will improve the water quality of the Long Island Sound and Bridgeport, Connecticut waterways. Activities include training youth as water resource protection activists, educating residents and business owners about their role in protecting scarce water resources, hosting neighborhood meetings to engage neighborhood residents, and marking city drains in English and/or Spanish to indicate that they drain into the Long Island Sound and must be kept clean.
Measurable Results: Number of local residents trained as water resource protection activists; Number of neighborhood meetings; Number of residents & business community members participating in meetings; Number of city drains marked in English and/or Spanish
Partners: Water Pollution Control Authority, City of Bridgeport, CT Department of Environmental Protection
The Children's Museum (West Hartford)
"Park River Assessment Program"
Founded in 1972, the Children's Museum is a non-profit institute that seeks to increase public understanding of science, mathematics, technology and the environment through exhibits and programs. The Park River Assessment Program project will work with community partners to initiate a community watershed enhancement program for the Park River Watershed which covers the urban areas of Hartford, New Britain and West Hartford. Preliminary data from the North and South branches of the Park River indicate moderate to severely impaired water quality and the proposed project invites family teams and community youth groups to adopt stream segments, monitor water quality, and conduct stream walks to assess in-stream and riparian conditions. The project will promote community awareness of the river, gather water quality data on all waterways in the project area, identify and photograph areas where improvements or restoration are needed, and engage families in collecting water quality data. Workshops will also be held to educate volunteers on the causes and effects of water pollution, provide training on stream walks, water quality monitoring sampling protocols, and sampling techniques. The Children's Museum will also work with partners and communities volunteers to organize improvement projects including river clean-ups, bank stabilization, wildlife habitat enhancement, plantings to reduce storm water flow and improve flood control, and others as needed.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Minimum of 15 families/youth groups recruited for participation; 50% of stream segments will be assessed; volunteers will receive technical support and be accompanied on 90% of stream walks and 100% of water quality monitoring activities; water quality data will be generated and analyzed to create GIS maps of the watershed; nine sites will be selected for improvement/restoration projects; and an additional 45 volunteer teams will be recruited in the second year.
Partners: Farmington River Watershed Association's Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative