New Haven, CT - It’s a very busy Earth Day for Connecticut’s land, air, and water and for Long Island Sound. Here are just a few things that Connecticut Fund for the Environment and its program Save the Sound have going on this week.
On Tuesday, Earth Day, regulations on siting new wind power generation in the state will be under discussion in the Regulations Review committee. The committee has previously denied the proposals of the Siting Council four times, leading to a de facto moratorium on building wind turbines. Lauren Savidge, staff attorney for CFE, says, “We’re hoping the committee finally lifts the wind power moratorium in Connecticut, the only state in the country with such a backwards policy. Bringing new wind energy to our state will benefit our economy and help us keep to our commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels.”
Also on Tuesday, CFE/Save the Sound special projects coordinator Chris Cryder will attend and give public comment at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Mystic. Cryder says, “We have already been able to see spring’s arrival this year as river herring start to migrate upstream throughout the state. But the Atlantic herring fishery, which kills thousands of pounds of river herring as bycatch each year, must be better regulated or these threatened forage fish could be gone for good. We’re asking the Council for more accountability, disincentives to reduce dumping of catch, more accurate and verified weights of fish that are caught, and to make sure there’s an independent observer on every midwater trawler vessel.”
Roger Reynolds, director of climate, transportation and land protection programs for CFE, will be speaking alongside Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee at an electric vehicle “see and drive” event at Bushnell Park in Hartford on Tuesday. The event will also celebrate Connecticut’s new status as a “range confident” state featuring electric vehicle charging stations within an easy drive at all times.
On Wednesday, the CFE-coordinated Transit for Connecticut coalition and partners AARP, CACT, and Northeast Transportation will hold a Transit Roundtable at Naugatuck Valley Community College. "Too often, people think of transit only in terms of infrastructure or complex service schedules, forgetting the human needs behind them," said Karen Burnaska, Transit for Connecticut coordinator. "With this forum, we'll put a face on mobility needs like getting to jobs, doctor appointments, college classes, and the grocery store—basics that can be difficult without a car. Connecticut has a growing demand for public transit that can get people when they need to go, when they need to be there. We'll highlight current projects and talk about where our state should invest next to get more buses rolling."
On Friday, Save the Sound presents the 23rd Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit in New Rochelle, NY, gathering residents, scientists, and elected officials from across the region to set goals for an updated management plan for the Sound. Leah Lopez Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound, says, "A vibrant Long Island Sound is critical to the life and culture of Connecticut and New York residents. Ongoing, lively dialogue between policy-makers and those who use the Sound and its resources is required to ensure its health. And that is why, on this, the 400th anniversary of Adriaen Block’s sailing of its waters, we are thrilled to bring people from around the region together to discuss the Sound’s history and the action plan that will shape its future."
In Old Saybrook, 1,000 pristine acres of coastal forest known as The Preserve have been under threat for decades. Finally, however, there is an opportunity to protect it for good. Chris Cryder says, “This land, the last and largest untouched coastal forest from New York to Boston, means a great deal to the people of the region, as well as the migratory birds, bobcats and fishers, and rare and threatened amphibians that call it home.” The public is invited to a forum Friday evening to learn more about The Preserve and find out how they can get involved in its permanent protection.