Enjoy the riches of the Naugatuck River and its Valley.
Little-Green-heron-hunts-on-the-Naugatuck-River.jpg Blackcrownnightheron.jpg LehighValleyCoal126-130615-Naugatuck-RR,-Thomaston,-CT-2.jpg Trout Stocking in Naugatuck River 2013




Explore NaugatuckRiver.net and you will find information about environmental and Naugatuck River-related events occurring in the Naugatuck River Valley; where you can access the Naugatuck River to paddle, fish, bird watch and hike including maps of the river; and the latest news about exciting projects and activities underway in all eleven towns along the Naugatuck River!   

Feel free to share your story, history of the river or photo. Submit your photos or news announcements to the website by Bold (Ctrl + B)email: naugatuckwebsite@hvatoday.org

**Featured News**

Archaeologist unearthed artifacts in Naugatuck River Greenway Platts Park

WATERBURY — An archaeologist has unearthed in a Naugatuck River Greenway park a handful of stone shards and a piece of a clay pipe dating back before Europeans settled here.

This discovery, made last fall, is one of two unexpected hurdles, along with a failing retaining wall, the city must resolve before moving ahead with plans to build a riverfront trail from Naugatuck to Eagle Street.

The project is already running six months behind its original plan for a fall 2015 groundbreaking, but project officials are confident they will resolve the artifact issue without much additional delay or cost.

The artifacts could not be tied to a particular date or tribe, said project manager Salvatore Porzio. At this time, the archaeologist can only say the shards and pipe date back to before European contact.

The city's consultant for the project, RBA Group, will use one of its staff archaeologists to conduct a more thorough dig of the artifact area as soon as the ground thaws to see if there is anything else to be found.

But additional finds would pose no threat to the completion of the trail, said RBA's urban planning director, Jackson Wandres. The artifacts were found in the woods of the park, not on the trail path, he said.

If more was found, the city could add an interpretative sign somewhere in the park to educate the public about the area's pre-contact history, said Wandres. It can only add to the public's enjoyment of the park, he said. Click here for article.

City bond vote postponed
Aldermen aim to examine details of downtown project


WATERBURY — The Board of Aldermen postponed a $19.5 million bond vote on a downtown road project Tuesday to give the city time to clarify the real purpose of the project.

The Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Project, or what's being called WATER for short, might have started as a dream to lengthen the Naugatuck River Greenway trail, but that's not what it is anymore.

The U.S. Department of Transportation chose not to fund the trail part of the city's application for federal funding, city officials told aldermen and residents at a board meeting Tuesday.

But what's left is still a "game changer," said mayoral adviser Kevin M. DelGobbo. It would rebuild Freight and Jackson streets, improve Meadow Street and build a pedestrian bridge from the train station to Library Park.

For an investment of $5.1 million, Waterbury would get a $14.4 million federal grant that will unlock the development potential of a 60-acre swath of the long neglected Freight Street area, project boosters said.

If the Board of Aldermen were to reject the bond proposal, Waterbury would never get another federal transportation again, said project official Salvatore Porzio. No one has ever turned this kind of grant down.  Click here for more information.

Redeveloping brown fields in Waterbury
From CT DEEP News Clips (1-16-15)

Official praises Waterbury for redeveloping brownfields - By Andrew Larson/Republican-American 

A state commissioner applauded the city’s efforts to remediate and redevelop brownfields, calling its success an example for cities throughout the state to follow.

Rob Klee, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, toured former brownfield sites in the East End on Thursday.

"Waterbury has done a great job of figuring it out," Klee said.

State Rep. Selim Noujaim, R-74th District, gave Klee and two other DEEP officials a tour the Eastside Memorial Funeral Home and Waterbury Senior Center, on the once heavily contaminated site of Mattatuck Manufacturing Co., which closed in the 1980s and was demolished in 2002.

Noujaim secured $4 million in state grants for the cleanup, which was overseen by Waterbury Development Corp. 

"We did not want to leave an eyesore in the city," Noujaim said. 

Klee also visited Fairlawn Park, which was renovated in 2007 and helped revitalize a neighborhood and reduced crime. Klee was so impressed he said he’d ask the city to host a No Child Left Inside event there. 

The city has cleaned up other contaminated sites, including Waterbury Industrial Commons on Thomaston Avenue, which it’s developing into a manufacturing center. 

Naugatuck May Become Ineligible to Receive Grants from Clean Water Fund
If the borough is forced to make repairs to its wastewater treatment plant, it would lose eligibility to receive the funds.
January 5, 2015
by Paul Singley, Special to the Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — The borough may be on the verge of being disqualified for grant opportunities to help pay for upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant.

An official from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said last week that if Naugatuck does not find a way to pay for federally-mandated plant upgrades, the state could issue a consent order to force the borough to make the upgrades.

“If that happens, it could disqualify Naugatuck for money from the Clean Water Fund,” said Ann Straut, a senior sanitary engineer for DEEP. “If they voluntarily make the upgrades, then they can get the money.” Click here for more information.

Torrington submits design for $52 million renovations to wastewater plant.
By Esteban L. Hernandez, Register Citizen
TORRINGTON- The city’s wastewater management department has submitted an engineering design agreement to the state, the first step for the department’s multi-year, $52 million facilities upgrade project.

Torrington’s Water Pollution Control Authority Administrator Ray Drew said Wednesday that the agreement has been submitted for approval from the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). 
“Basically, that’s the agreement between the city of Torrington and our engineers, Wright Pierce, to do the design for the facilities upgrade,” Drew said.
                                                                                              Click here for more information.

Officials Weigh Pros and Cons of Gas and Oil Power Plant in Oxford.
Naugatuck needed to treat waste and discharge into the Naugatuck River. To be largest non-Nuclear plant in CT.
Information is unavailable at this time as to how this will impact the Naugatuck River's economy and ecology.
Much has changed on the Naugatuck River since this was first approved 12 years ago. The best information available at this time is CSC Docket 192B - Oxford on the CT Siting Councils website.
$6.3M fish bypass channel in Seymour opens, first of its kind in Northeast

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, New Haven Register
SEYMOUR >> It’s been 15 years in the making — and that’s no fish story — but the long-awaited fish bypass channel on the Naugatuck River finally celebrated its grand opening Thursday.

About 200 people gathered at the site at the corner of Wakeley and DeForest streets to witness the transformation of a “junky old big pile of dirt and rocks,” as First Selectman Kurt Miller phrased it, into an environmentally friendly showcase for fish, wildlife and people to enjoy.

The $6.3 million project headed by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was a collaboration of funding and partnership by federal, state and local officials. Click here for New Haven Register story

Tingue Dam Fish Bypass ceremony 

Waterbury begins to stop trash flowing into the Naugatuck River thru their storm drain system.
15 Trash Excluders have been installed into storm drain basins.
Trash excluder 
Dave Simpson, Waterbury's acting Public Works Director, says the pilot program is working, "almost too well". But he adds, " There is a learning curve and modifications need to be made. This is the way to stop the trash from entering the river". He is committed to keeping a close eye on the program. Within 5 minutes of the first meeting with Ron Napoli (Chairman of the Waterbury Greenway Committee), John Murray (Publisher of Waterbury Observer) and Kevin Zak (Naugatuck River Revival Group) the Mayor's staff understood that this needed to be done... Government that works:  PW Director Lou Spina and Chief of Staff Kevin DelGobbo found a way within one week to place the first order of excluders with a Connecticut based company. 

The following is an update of the Naugatuck River Revival Group's mission to stop trash from entering the River thru storm drains and have a Trash Excluder Pilot Program in every town along the Naugatuck River:

In September the NRRG met with Ansonia's Mayor Cassetti and his PW Superintentent Doug Novak, who committed to the idea. They are eager to start a Trash Excluder Pilot Program in Ansonia. In June the NRRG met with Derby Mayor Dugatto to start exploring the process in her city. In August Torrington PW Director told the NRRG that they do not contribute trash to the Naugatuck River but agreed to put at least 1 excluder into a storm basin in solidarity with the towns down river. Thomaston's First Selectman Ed Mon was approached in May. He liked the idea but told the NRRG that he believes the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) should find a way to help finance the pilot programs for the smaller towns including his. He agreed to start a program with at least 1 or 2 excluders but hopes NVCOG can help expand it. Seymour's First Selectman Kurt Miller asked for information in July. 

As heavy rain falls in the Naugatuck River Valley trash moves inch by inch, un-challenged, thru an out-of-sight out-of-mind storm system that was invented by the Romans. This system has remained the same since those times. If each town does not begin installing trash excluders the trash will never be stopped and the Naugatuck River will always remain a second class river and will continue to contribute to the Atlantic Ocean plastic trash islands.

What towns will follow Waterbury's lead?

After decades of being absent apex predators help maintain the health and balance of Nature on the Naugatuck River:
Coyote on Naugatuck River Photo: Naugatuck River Revival Group 2014
This beautiful coyote searches for rodents and small game along the Naugatuck River. The bobcat below and this coyote share the same territory but avoid each other and people.  Mink have also been spotted the past 2 years. (Photo: NRRG)
Bobcat on a Naugatuck River Island. Photo by the Naugatuck river Revival Group 2014
A bobcat along the Naugatuck River during early morning hours on Oct. 10, 2014. Bobcats usually hunt and travel in areas where there is thick brush. They're usually most active around dusk and dawn and quite secretive. They normally shy away from people. The NRRG is documenting this hidden world and will bring it to the public. (Photo: NRRG)

Broodstock Atlantic Salmon Stocking Update:
Thursday, October 9, 2014. The Naugatuck River received 2 and 3 year old Atlantic Salmon. Please get out and enjoy and remember the special regulations on this fishery.

If you go to the Paul Pawlak Fishway and Park on Oct 30th keep an eye out for a Peregrine.
Female Peregrine who has been raising her young at O'Sullivan's Island for many of the past years. Photo by Kevin Zak 2014
This female Peregrine's aerie (nest) is just a short flight from the Tingue Dam Bypass. A peregrine was seen a few days ago hunting along the river a few hundred yards from the construction of the Pawlak Bypass. For years they have perched on the electrical tower a few feet away from the Bypass construction office trailer.
It's baby can be sen in the photo carousel above. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

 Atlantic Salmon stocked
Last week DEEP’s Inland Fisheries Division released 150 salmon into the Naugatuck River. 
Angling for Atlantic salmon is restricted to catch-and-release only from September 1 through November 30.
From December 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015, the daily creel limit for Atlantic salmon will be one.

During the open season in the rivers, the legal method for taking Atlantic salmon is limited to angling using a single fly, or an artificial lure with a single free swinging hook and no additional weight can be added to the line above the fly or lure.

During October 1st through March 31st, fishing for other species in the designated Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Areas is restricted to the gear legal for Atlantic salmon. 

RIVERWALK EVENT – Sat. Sept. 27, 2014
Boa, Otter, Martin from the ANC at the ANC Riverfest 9/27/14Martin Wigglesworth, Ranger at the ANC shows off the resident Boa at Ansonia's 125 year Riverfest. (Photo: NRRG)
Brian Capozzi, Superintendent and John Tomasella, Lab Director of Ansonia Water Pollution Controll display water entering plant and exiting into the Naugatuck River at the ANC Riverfest on the Ansonia River Greenway 9/27/14Brian Capozzi (Superintendent) and John Tomasella (Lab Director) of Ansonia's Water Pollution Control proudly explain and display how they clean the dirty water that enters their plant and the difference of what is finally discharged into the Naugatuck River. (Photo: NRRG)
Sondra Harman of the Naugatuck River Revival Group show's a mouse nest made entirely of cigarette butts. The nest was found on a Naugatuck River Island during a river cleanup. Sondra Harman of the Naugatuck River Revival Group mesmerizes a mom and her daughter with a mouse nest made entirely of cigarette butts. The nest was found on a Naugatuck River island during a recent river cleanup. (Photo: NRRG)
The Ansonia Nature (ANC) and Recreation Center, Naugatuck River Revival Group (NRRG), Ansonia's Water Pollution Control, Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) and many others came to celebrate Ansonia’s treasure, and learn about the wildlife and the importance of the river and its watershed, along Ansonia’s Riverwalk. This was a fun-filled day of family-friendly activities including music, food, exhibitors, vendors, and live animals. For more information about ANC events please call 203-736-1053 or visit Facebook.com/Ansonia125.

An announcement by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto, Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce President Bill Purcell at the entrance of the Derby Greenway Wednesday announcing creation of the Naugatuck River Valley National Heritage Area Study Act.Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, Sen. Richard Blumenthal listen to Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce President Bill Purcell at the entrance of the Derby Greenway announcing creation of the Naugatuck River Valley National Heritage Area Study Act. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

Sewer plant upgrade part of Sound strategy

BY ALEC JOHNSON REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN In November, voters of Torrington can think of a day at the beach when they head to the polls.

That's because a vote on a $52 million upgrade to that city's sewer plant is directly related to new laws and regulations concerning the protection of Long Island Sound.

Water at the end of the treatment process at the Torrington Water Pollution Control Authority, headed into the Naugatuck River. Republican-American archiveWater at the end of the treatment process at the Torrington Water Pollution Control Authority, headed into the Naugatuck River. (Photo: Republican-American archive)

Trout Stocking Update

Trout Stocking in Naugatuck River 2013Trout Stocking Update: Wednesday 9/17/2014. Trout were stocked into the Pomperaug River (Woodbury and Southbury) as well as the Naugatuck River Trout Management Area (Litchfield and Harwinton). Good luck!! (Photo: Kevin Zak)

The dream of a better Naugatuck River Valley is alive and well.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy and company soaks up the sunlight Monday at the $14.4 million T.I.G.E.R award.  From left: CDOT Commissioner Rediker, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Mayor O'Leary, U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty,  U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Undersecretary of Transportation Peter Rogoff and State Rep. Victor Cuevas. (Photo: Kevin Zak)
U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy and company soak in the morning light Monday (9/14/14) at the $14.4 million T.I.G.E.R award press conference at Waterbury's Library Park.  From left: CDOT Commissioner Rediker, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Mayor O'Leary, U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty,  U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Undersecretary of Transportation Peter Rogoff and State Rep. Victor Cuevas. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

The dilapidated Seymour Lumber building towers over the corner of Bank and River streets. With new businesses opening downtown and activity along the Naugatuck River, officials are eager to see it gone.
The closed Seymour Lumber building at the corner of Bank and River Streets in Seymour, Conn. on Thursday, September 4, 2014. Photo: Brian A. PoundsThe closed Seymour Lumber building at the corner of Bank and River Streets in Seymour, Conn. on Thursday, September 4, 2014. (Photo: Brian A. Pound)

Story by Hugh Baily, CTPOST
The dilapidated Seymour Lumber building towers over the corner of Bank and River streets on the main road into the town center. With new businesses opening downtown and activity along the Naugatuck River...And talks continue on expanding the Naugatuck River greenway into town. Starting in Derby, where the Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers meet, the trail today reaches north into Ansonia. Other sections have been completed upriver, in Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and beyond.

It's more complicated in Seymour because the elevated Route 8 runs right along the Naugatuck, putting the future greenway along highway embankments and off-ramps. The town is working closely with the DOT to ensure the path is safe and accessible.

At Seymour Lumber, there's been some initial work preparing the site, but the demolition is still to come. "We're hopefully seeing the final stages," Messore said. "This is probably as close as we've ever gotten to seeing the buildings come down." 

$14.4 Million Flows Into The WATER Project
NR928603.MXF.Still001.jpgJackson Wandres, RBA's Senior Associate, explains Waterbury's ambitious $30 million 5 component W.A.T.E.R. Project at a Public Workshop held at Waterbury's Arts Magnet School (Photo: Kevin Zak)
 The TIGER VI grant will fund the Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence (WATER) Project, an integrated system of active transportation improvements that includes a downtown riverfront trail, a reconstructed and expanded network of local streets, and a comprehensive array of pedestrian/ bicycle improvements and linkages all designed to better connect downtown to the city’s train station and riverfront.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “This powerful investment will transform 60 acres of underused land near Waterbury’s train station, reconnecting and revitalizing downtown, nearby neighborhoods and the Naugatuck River Greenway, uniquely advancing regional environmental and economic development opportunities,” said Blumenthal. “The Greenway project has reclaimed 44 miles of riverfront land, reviving vacant industrial sites and providing new, needed access to healthy recreation for the whole region. Natural, open space, as well as safe and reliable transportation—including rail, bus, bicycle and pedestrian access—is vital to the economic growth and success of our cities. I will continue to champion Waterbury’s vision.”

Momentum builds for every community along the Naugatuck River.
Waterbury Receives $14,400,000 TIGER Grant 
So what are TIGER grants? First, TIGER stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery — a nod to its creation following the economic collapse of 2008-2009. TIGER leverages federal funding and public resources much farther than traditional federal transportation programs. In fact, over the first five rounds, on average, projects attracted more than 3.5 additional non-federal dollars for every TIGER grant dollar. 

Almost all of these winning projects over the years have been projects that have a hard time getting funded under the outdated structure of the current federal transportation program. 

These projects in communities across the country will create good paying jobs, spur local economic development, and keep our metro and rural areas connected. Winning project applications have to show multiple benefits: 1) that projects improve the condition of existing facilities and systems, 2) contribute to the economic competitiveness of the U.S. over the medium- to long-term, 3) improve the quality of living and working environments for people, 4) improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit the environment, and 5) improve public safety. 

To get a good idea of what a successful TIGER story looks like, look no further than the great story of Normal, Illinois’ new downtown (er, well “Uptown” in this case!) multimodal train station, profiled earlier this year in our ongoing series of local successes, and made possible by one of the first TIGER grants, click here for more information.

Waterbury Rep Am reports:
 Strict environmental controls put in place for a cleanup of the fire-ravaged Nova Dye factory site seem to be working.
From CT DEEP News Clips (9-8-14)
Workers thinking about environment By – Penelope Overton/ Republican American

Safety is No. 1 concern during cleanup of Nova Dye site

WATERBURY — Strict environmental controls put in place for a cleanup of the fire-ravaged Nova Dye factory site seem to be working.

Daily air and water samples have all come back clean, with asbestos and heavy metals limits within federal health and safety guidelines, according to the contractor.

"We're doing everything to be sure neighbors, our own guys, even the (Mad and Naugatuck) river's, everybody is safe," said Peter Blonski, project superintendent for Standard Demolition of Trumbull.

Containment methods range from truck and steel wash pits that drain into storage tanks, to building a plastic-lined earth and hay retaining wall on the banks of the Mad River. Click here for more information.

Part of $7 Million in compensation for PCB pollution in the Housatonic River helps its largest tributary.

September 6, 2014, First Annual Down By The River Festival at the Riverwalk and Veterans Memorial Park 
 Canal Street in Shelton, CT.
The event will kick off at 7:30 AM with our first ever Bike For HOPE, a 50-mile bicycle ride starting at the Riverwalk and following the Naugatuck Greenway to Waterbury and back, with shorter 25-mile and 10-mile rides as options. Festival begins at 11 AM, and will run until 7 PM. The festival will feature many popular area and regional bands, along with arts and crafts booths, food vendors, children’s activities. 

BOBCAT SPOTTED IN THOMASTON YARD.A fairly large bobcat, also known as a “Lynx rufus”, was spotted in the back yard of Thomaston residents Mark and Anne (Mazulaitis) DeCarlo.A fairly large bobcat, also known as a “Lynx rufus”, was spotted in the back yard of Thomaston residents Mark and Anne (Mazulaitis) DeCarlo. The couple saw the bobcat roughly 1,000 feet off of the road near their home, which abuts the Thomaston Fish & Game property. According to Ms. DeCarlo, the bobcat walked around their 12-acre property and then left, similar to many other animals they’ve seen in their yard, including a fox, coyotes, moose and even an eagle. They always keep a camera next to the door and their pets inside. In the spring, she saw a liter of bobcat babies, recalling they looked like “oversized kittens.”
A bobcat was spotted on an island in Waterbury within the Naugatuck River in July. Story: TownTimesnews.com  (Photo: Mark and Anne DeCarlo)

Questions remain about PCBs, public safety at O’Sullivan’s island

By Keldy Ortiz, The New Haven Register

DERBY >> The potential for long-term health risks for people who repeatedly played in the grass or swam at O’Sullivan’s Island prior to it being closed for a third clean up due to Polychlorinated Biphenyl contamination is raising questions as to why it was reopened to the public.

The city of Derby closed O’Sullivan’s Island in January after questions lingered about the cleanups performed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1983 and 2008. Only the walkways are currently open to the public... Click here for more information.

Riverfront land preserved
Harwinton buys old factory site

By STEVE BARLOW Republican-American
HARWINTON — Where shelf clocks once were produced in a section of town known as "the Forgotten Valley," anglers will now be able to make time for fishing.

The town of Harwinton on Tuesday bought 4.25 acres along the Naugatuck River that were the site of the Hopkins & Alfred clock factory in the early 1800s. To see the video by Steve Barlow click here.

Just across the river: Taking a bike ride will help MovingWithHope: Sept. 6th.

Story by the Valley Gazette
The Down by the River Festival will feature the Bike for Hope, music, a chili cook-off, beer garden, arts and crafts vendors and family activities on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk), Shelton.

The event will raise funds for MovingWithHope, a non-profit organization that provides programming scholarships and adaptive equipment for survivors of brain and spinal cord injuries and diseases.

The bicycle ride will begin at 7:30 a.m. and go along sections of the Naugatuck River Greenway. The cost to ride is $35, which includes an event T-shirt. The ride is intended as a fun event and riders will not be timed, and no racing is allowed.

The ride honors the memory of Carlo Minasi of Easton. Surgery may have left Carlo in a wheelchair, but that didn’t stop his determination..Anyone who wants to volunteer to work at the event may call 203-513-8424 click here to visit the event websiteClick here for more the story in the Gazette.

Naugatuck River Resident Peregrine
Female Adult Peregrine Adult Female Resident Peregrine Falcon of the Naugatuck River
This mom successfully raised her young during the 2014 season and is taking a break from teaching her young how to hunt. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

Ansonia Copper & Brass site to be opened for development

From left, Ansonia Mayor David S. Cassetti; Gary OíConnor, an attorney for American Copper and Brass Co.; Ansonia Corporation Counsel John P. Marini, and Second Ward Alderman Phil Tripp at announcement of plans to demolish part of the former American Copper & Brass Co. factory that sits along the Naugatuck River. PATRICIA VILLERS/NEW HAVEN REGISTERFrom left, Ansonia Mayor David S. Cassetti; Gary OíConnor, an attorney for American Copper and Brass Co.; Ansonia Corporation Counsel John P. Marini, and Second Ward Alderman Phil Tripp at announcement of plans to demolish part of the former American Copper & Brass Co. factory that sits along the Naugatuck River. (Photo: PATRICIA VILLERS/NEW HAVEN REGISTER)
To read full story in the New Haven Register click here.

The Valley Greenway

Your guide to riverfront greenways and trails

in Shelton, Derby, Ansonia and Stratford

You are steps and a  click  away from exploring riversides, forests, historic

monuments, mountain and river overlooks and even an historic

trolley route. Walk, bird, skate, fish and cycle your way into nature

in a place close to home. Miles of riverfront trails and community

paths that connect Shelton, Derby, Ansonia and Stratford to the

Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers await you.

The Pawlak Bypass: Circa 1800 to 2014
The Tingue Dam Bypass taken 8/5/2014 Photo: Kevin ZakThe Paul Pawlak, Sr. Bypass (Tingue Dam Bypass) on August 5, 2014 is nearly complete after 12 years in the planning. (Photo: Kevin Zak) 

Tingue Damn The Tingue Dam pre-bypass. Raymond French built the dam, called Center Dam, circa 1850. In 1804, Revolutionary War hero and businessman Gen. David Humphreys bought the land and cut a channel into the original, smaller dam to get water power for his woolen mill. The area was known as Humphreysville.

Humphreys had brought Merino sheep back to Connecticut from Spain, where he had served as the first U.S. ambassador.

It was called the Tingue Dam because the Tingue Mill bought the factory in 1880 and was the last company to use it. (Photo: Laura Wildman)

Republican-American Editorial: The Naugatuck River not worth improving?
Naugatuckriver.net wants to know: Is the trash and other contaminants entering the River thru the storms drain system okay and not worth future effort?
Send your comments to Naugatuckriver.net.
From CT DEEP News Clips (7-29-14)

The price of purity – Editorial/Republican-American

Almost no one would support allowing the Naugatuck River to revert to the conditions of, say, the 1950s, when industrial operations caused it to be simultaneously wildly colorful and utterly dead. Today, the river ecosystem is home to vigorous populations of flora and fauna. Certainly, it should not be allowed to become polluted anew, but there likewise is no advantage to making it marginally less polluted than it is today, at enormous cost.

That, nevertheless, is the goal of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which intends to impose strict new regulations on Connecticut municipalities to reduce storm-water pollution.

"The rules would mandate more frequent sweeping of streets and sidewalks to prevent pollutants from washing into rivers and streams," explained the Republican-American's Laraine Wechsler in a July 25 story, "and would require more frequent maintenance of catch basins." Municipal public-works officials in Greater Waterbury and Litchfield County, contacted by Ms. Wechsler, predicted significantly higher costs, revised priorities or both.

It's true that storm water — untreated water that runs from paved areas and lawns directly into rivers and streams without first being treated — contains contaminants. In agricultural districts, it's likely to include animal and plant waste materials, pesticides and fertilizers; in towns and cities, petroleum products leaked from motor vehicles as well as ice- and snow-melting products. Mixed with much larger quantities of naturally occurring water and treated wastewater, however, it is an example of dilution being the solution to pollution.

Thus, the website www.naugatuckriver.net states: "The river is classified by the State of Connecticut as a Trophy Trout Stream and is home to three types of trout, including native cold water Brook Trout. ... And if you're looking to try something new — why not go salmon fishing! That's right — there's even Salmon in the Naugatuck!"

Undoubtedly, the regulations proposed by DEEP would result in a marginal improvement in the river's quality, not that the game fish — which require clean water to thrive, and manifestly are doing so in the Naugatuck as it flows today — would notice. Taxpayers would feel the pinch, however. For example, Watertown Public Works Director Roy E. Cavanaugh predicted the cost of street and sidewalk sweeping, now more than $129,000 per year, would double.

"I'm just concerned (about) how I'm going to comply with the terms of it without significant reallocation of priorities and resources," Mr. Cavanaugh said. "I see this as being a huge unfunded mandate."

If the DEEP really believes in these proposed regulations, it should take Mr. Cavanaugh's words to heart — and huddle with other state agencies to craft a mandate-relief package that renders the storm water rules spending-neutral. Yes, that's a good-government fantasy, but there's always a first time.

Torrington cuts ribbon on environmentally friendly parking lot
Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone cuts a ribbon to commemorate a new municipal parking lot on the corner of Main and North Elm streets Tuesday. Behind her are Police Chief Michael Maniago, left, and Susan Peterson, a watershed manager with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Esteban L. Hernandez — The Register CitizenTorrington Mayor Elinor Carbone cuts a ribbon to commemorate a new municipal parking lot on the corner of Main and North Elm streets Tuesday. Behind her are Police Chief Michael Maniago, left, and Susan Peterson, a watershed manager with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. (Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez — The Register Citizen)
TORRINGTON >> The new municipal parking lot on the corner of Main and North Elm streets is the greenest in the city, even though its clearly grey.

Stepping on top of the concrete bricks Tuesday afternoon, Sean Hayden, executive director of the Northwest Conservation District, said the bricks were made from concrete and steel.

“If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was just cobble,” Hayden said.

The bricks have a lifetime of 30 years. And they actually act like water filters. The 13,000-square-foot area sits opposite of city’s police department and is mostly made up of the lot, which uses a method known as porous paving to help bring clean water to the nearby Naugatuck River. Hayden helped oversee the construction of the lot, completed last month.

Hayden joined city officials Tuesday as they held a brief ribbon-cutting at the site of municipal parking lot to commemorate the low-impact area.

“It acts like a giant water filter,” Hayden said. “Every drop of water that falls on it gets filtered down through layers of filtered gravel and sand below the parking lot.”

The system ensures only filtered water gets to the river: First it falls through the bricks, into the soil, then the groundwater before moving to the river. Hayden said the parking lot can accept rain at 900 inches per hour, far beyond the average six or seven inches of water the city gets.

“If this was asphalt, all the rain that would hit it would rinse off into the river,” Hayden said. “Everything would go with it. E.coli, metals, oils, everything that falls off of cars. A whole host of pollutants.”

Mayor Elinor Carbone said she was thankful for everyone who helped turned the former vacant parcel into an environmentally friendly and attractive parking lot.

“The beautiful thing about this parking lot is not only does it provide some much-needed parking in the north end, but it also improves water quality,” Carbone said.  Click here for full story.

A decorative flowering pot sits near the city’s new municipal parking lot on the corner of corner of Main and North Elm streets Tuesday. The parking lot has a low-impact design that helps gather rainwater and snow for the nearby Naugatuck River without debris. Esteban L. Hernandez — The Register CitizenA decorative flowering pot sits near the city’s new municipal parking lot on the corner of corner of Main and North Elm streets Tuesday. The parking lot has a low-impact design that helps gather rainwater and snow for the nearby Naugatuck River without debris. (Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez — The Register Citizen)

Return To The Rivers: Connecticut's Waterways Reflect The State's History

The Derby Dam and power plant (Photo: Michael McAndrews, Hartford Courant)The Derby Dam and power plant. (Photo: Michael McAndrews | Hartford Courant)
By STEVE GRANT, Special To The Hartford Courant

The widely held assumption that Connecticut was complete wilderness when the first European settlers arrived in the early 17th Century is belied by what archaeologists have found along the state's rivers.

"It was not wilderness," said Nicholas Bellantoni, a professor of archaeology at the University of Connecticut and the designated state archaeologist. To be sure, Connecticut essentially was a vast forest in 1600, but along major rivers, especially the Connecticut River, there were numerous little pockets of cleared land where Native Americans grew corn, beans and squash.

Crops also were grown in the fertile flatlands along other major rivers...

"Those were desirable areas," Bellantoni said. When the first European settlers arrived, they went right for those fertile, flat and already cleared patches of land. "We settled in places that Native Americans had already settled."

If what would become Connecticut was not totally wild, it nonetheless was pristine early in the 17th Century. Other than the occasional sound of handmade tools, the rivers were peaceful places without the noise of cars, trucks, industry and powerboats.

Even today, Connecticut's waterways are a significant and usually appealing aspect of the state's landscape, but, with rare exceptions, they are radically different from what they were four centuries ago.
Margaret Miner, director of the Connecticut Rivers Alliance, thinks rivers have reached a plateau. "Some rivers are getting worse, some are getting a little better, but the general upward trend is leveling off," she said.

The other big problem is something called non-point source pollution, which is the water that runs off streets, parking lots, lawns and other surfaces, picking up a toxic stew of contaminants that include litter, oil residues, pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, dangerous household chemicals and other pollutants.

...On the Naugatuck River, especially in Waterbury and Naugatuck, where the banks were lined with factories by the 1940s and 1950s, industries spewed tens of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater directly into the river, often staining the river a mustard color one day, chartreuse or purple the next. There was little aquatic life in the river.

"In many ways, we as a society have to do the little things, and as a group have those little things add up to something big. We are not going to regulate the need to pick up after your dog when you take your dog for a walk, but it makes a difference if collectively we all do that," said Traci Iott, supervising environmental analyst at DEEP. To read the full story click here. 

Commissioner Klee's tour of the Paul Pawlak, Sr. Fish Bypass in Seymour shows progress
State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee, Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller and Seymour Economic Development Director Fred A. Messore lead a tour of the Tingue Dam Fish Bypass Channel, which is scheduled to open in the fall. (Patricia Villers — New Haven Register)State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee, Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller and Seymour Economic Development Director Fred A. Messore lead a tour of the Tingue Dam Fish Bypass Channel, which is scheduled to open in the fall. (Photo: Patricia Villers — New Haven Register)

By Patricia Villers, New Haven Register

SEYMOUR >> State and local officials Wednesday donned hard hats and toured the Tingue Dam Fish Bypass Channel construction site with workers from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Robert Klee, DEEP commissioner, said before the tour of the area located off Wakeley Street he had driven past the site but had never walked it. “This was an opportunity to see the progress that has been made,” Klee said.

The project covers about 14 acres along the Naugatuck River. Media was not allowed to join the tour....Lee said a grand opening is scheduled for fall. The fish bypass will be the only one of its kind in New England, according to DEEP officials. A town park, sprawling staircase and an overlook that will offer spectacular views of nature at its best, are included in the project.

The Hidden World of the Naugatuck River

A rare scene on the Naugatuck River: A Scarlet Tanager takes bath on July 13, 2014

Oriole and Robin share the Naugatuck River for bathing on hot July day 2014
Have you ever been curious to what lives around  and visits the Naugatuck River? While we go about our daily lives the Nauagtuck River hides many creatures from our view.
The Bob Cat, Scarlet Tanager and the Oriole were spotted in the Naugatuck River in Waterbury during the month of July. Along with Eagles, Osprey and Peregrine Falcons they can be seen in the movie The Hidden World Part II by the Naugatuck River Revival Group. The movie is expected to come out in 2015 in time for the ground breaking of the 1st phase of the Waterbury Greenway ground breaking ceremony. (Photo's courtesy of the NRRG)

Torrington eyesore's days numbered
Former Nidec factory could come down in September
Nidec Building on the Naugatuck River Torrington
The Nidec Building in Torrington is slated for demolition. It is one of the last remaining factories on the Naugatuck River near downtown. (Photo: Alec Johnson/RA)

                                                                        BY ALEC JOHNSON REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
TORRINGTON -- One of the last of the hulking former factories along the Naugatuck River downtown could be gone by winter.

A vacant factory and warehouse that was part of the sprawling Torrington Manufacturing Co. on Franklin Drive, but is known more for its most recent owner Nidec Corp., is slated to be demolished in September, city officials said Monday. Click here for more information.

Long abandoned factories in the Valley slowly coming back to life
AR-140719830.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667.jpeg(Photo courtesy of: NewHaven register)

By Patricia Villers, New Haven Register

In its manufacturing heyday, the lower Naugatuck Valley was populated by skilled factory workers and tradesmen. The buildings they toiled in are still here, many reborn for new uses.
The Industrial Revolution was in full swing when immigrants from Europe were seeking to build a better life for themselves and their families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

They settled in the Valley and worked in the copper, brass and textile industries, to name a few. Residents walked to mills and factories, as well as to church, school, banks, stores and restaurants. They lived in multifamily dwellings, and often several generations would reside under the same roof. They built houses of worship and joined cultural organizations that kept them in touch with their Old World backgrounds. 

Factories were located near the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers to take advantage of hydroelectric power. But most of these once-thriving businesses are gone or are operating on a much smaller scale than they had been. Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce President Bill Purcell said old factory buildings “are a conundrum for these communities. They don’t lend themselves to simple solutions. Often a solution lies in a public/private partnership.” Click here for the full story of what is happening in Shelton, Derby, Ansonia and Seymour..

Derby agrees to pay for EPA cleanup
Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto and Boy Scout Troop 3 leader Randy Ritter look at the area of O’Sullivans Island closed off due to contamination. (Photo: Valley Gazette)
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, correspondent on July 11, 2014 in Derby, 

Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto and Boy Scout Troop 3 leader Randy Ritter look at the portion of O'Sullivans Island closed off due to contamination.
Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto and Boy Scout Troop 3 leader Randy Ritter look at the area of O’Sullivans Island closed off due to contamination.
Derby will pay the federal Environmental Protection Agency $675,000 to settle a four-year old, $4 million debt associated with clean-up costs for O’Sullivan’s Island.

The Board of Aldermen at a special meeting July 8 unanimously approved “a resolution of claim in principal” between the city and the EPA, which calls for Derby having to shell out more than a half million dollars. Click here for more information.

A Brass City revival 
Waterbury Anamet Site8154701.jpgAlong the banks of the Naugatuck River the former Anamet factory on Washington Avenue in Waterbury would be cleaned up under the state plan. (Photo: Jim Shannon/Waterbury RepAm)
Malloy unveils $12.2M plan for Waterbury's redevelopment 

WATERBURY -- The state unveiled plans Monday to invest $12.2 million in Waterbury, giving it funding to revive its sluggish downtown.

The money will help the city purchase, redevelop, or raze a handful of key parcels, ranging from a blighted South End hose factory to the historic Howland-Hughes Building to the Anamet site along the Naugatuck River. Click here for more information.

Firm set to begin testing O’Sullivan’s Island for contamination

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, The New Haven Register
An environmental consulting/engineering firm is set to begin testing potentially contaminated soil at O’Sullivan’s Island this month, a portion of which has been closed to the public since January.
According to Rick Dunne, executive director of Valley Council of Governments, HRP Associates Inc., has been hired to conduct the environmental testing.
The Board of Aldermen at its June 26 meeting voted to bring the company onboard, approving a $65,000 contract for the work. Dunne said the work will be funded through grant money that VCOG has secured. To date, Dunne said, VCOG has acquired $300,000 in grants from the state Department of Economic and Community Development to fund issues related to O’Sullivan’s Island. To read full story in New Haven Register click here.
AR-140709836.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667.jpegO’Sullivan’s Island is closed to public.  (Photo: Jean Falbo-Sosnovich — New Haven Register

To low to kayak? Great time to watch the wildlife.
Take a chair, a camera, pick a "sit spot" and be patient. 
Send us your photo's. We will post them. Spotted in the past weeks: Bob Cat, Deer, Eagle's, Rose-breasted grosbeak's, Oriole's, Cedar Waxwing's, Merganser's, Scarlet Tanager's.

The Waterbury Naugatuck River Greenway
Phase 1

After six years of meeting, planning and studying Waterbury is now nearing the end of the design of Phase I of the Waterbury Naugatuck River Greenway. Phase I will extend from the Naugatuck line on Platts Mills Road to Eagle Street. Those involved with the planning are very excited about the progress that has been made and look forward to the beginning of construction which is scheduled for 2015. Public input, which is seen as integral, has been sought at various stages in the planning process. The last public hearing was held at Kennedy High School in Waterbury on June 25th.

Seymour to name fish bypass after late First Selectman Paul Pawlak, Sr.

EP-140619448.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667.jpegPaul Pawlak, Sr. (Photo: New Haven Register)
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, The New Haven Register

Paul Pawlak, Sr. Contributed photo
SEYMOUR >> The late, former First Selectman Paul Pawlak, Sr. left a lasting legacy on both the local and state level, and was “an environmentalist before it was in fashion.”

That’s what one of Pawlak’s sons, Joe Pawlak, 71, of Watertown, told the Board of Selectmen this week.

Joe Pawlak, along with several other town officials and residents, passionately spoke in support of the town naming the fish bypass, currently under construction downtown, after Pawlak, Sr., which the selectmen unanimously voted in favor of. The suggestion was initiated by Selectwoman Karen Stanek.

How to stop the trash from getting into the Naugatuck River:
Waterbury sets example and standard
Working together to fast track a pilot program, Mayor O'Leary, Senior Advisor Kevin DelGobbo, Director of  Public Works Lou Spina and Waterbury's Greenway Chairman Ron Napoli purchase 12 Connecticut made Trash Excluders. This pilot program will place 12 trash excluders in carefully selected storm drain catch basins within the City. They will then study the trash collected to figure out how best to stop the trash entering the river from their storm drain system. 

Derby and Torrington looking  to follow Waterbury's lead.
To end this problem all the towns and cities that have storm drains that lead directly and indirectly to the river must join Waterbury if this problem is to be solved. After a few centuries there may be an end of transporting trash to the river in a system that is out of sight of the public. 

Shad Report

Naugy Shad 2014 June 13, 2014

AMERICAN SHAD – DEEP June 2014 Inland Fisheries Division Report
Transplanted 323 adult pre-spawn American Shad: (Farmington River = 160) and (Naugatuck River = 163 stocked at Riverbend Park Beacon Falls). Shad were transported from the Holyoke Fishlift (Connecticut River) to spawning habitat upstream of fishways to accelerate restoration.

Seymour may name fish bypass after late first selectman

Tingue_Dam_Bypass_Flooding_Sequence 09.Still004.jpg(Photo: Kevin Zak)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, The New Haven Register 
The Board of Selectmen are considering naming the new fish bypass channel and adjoining park, under construction downtown, after the late First Selectman Paul Pawlak Sr. 

Selectwoman Karen Stanek made the recommendation during Tuesday’s selectmen’s meeting. The selectmen are scheduled to discuss the issue at their meeting at 7 p.m. June 17 at Town Hall. 

Pawlak died at age 96 in February. He dedicated more than 36 years to public service, having served as Seymour’s first selectman for four years; deputy selectman for eight years; Board of Education chairman for 12 years and state legislator for another 12 years.

The HARWINTON Jamie Kirchner Memorial Wheels and Heels 5K Road Race
Huebner Family.jpg
The Huebner Family. June 7, 2014, Harwinton 5k Charity Race was held Saturday June 7th on Valley Road, Harwinton. (Photo: Joan Kirchner) Click here for more information. 

Watertown sets sights on Phase 2
 A groundhog scurried across a dirt path Wednesday afternoon, plunging into a patch of Japanese knotweed lining Steele Brook.
The path is part of what will one day be the second phase of the Steele Brook Greenway, a spur along an old railroad line across from UNICO Fields. Click here for Laraine Weshchler's story in the RA.
Town Engineer Charles Berger walks the future path of the Steele Brook Greenway around UNICO Fields in Watertown on Wednesday.(Photo: Laraine Weschler, Republican-American)

Trails Weekend was June 7 - 8th
 The 22nd annual Connecticut Trails Day Weekend celebration. The 2014 festivities took place on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, as part of National Trails Day. Families took part in one of the 258 trail events, featured in this year's CT Trails Day Weekend Booklet.

There was outdoor activities for everyone—including hiking, biking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, bird watching, letterboxing, and more. These events were guided by knowledgeable volunteers from local hiking clubs, parks and recreation departments, state agencies, conservation organizations, historic groups, education programs, and land trusts.

Don't miss this fun-filled weekend next year, which will provide many opportunities to discover new places and experience the outdoors with family, friends, and neighbors.

Connecticut Watershed Conservation Network Conference
comes to Waterbury.

Friday, May 30, 9 AM - 2:30 PM
Major Topic: Roadside Spraying of Pesticides: Methods, Science, Policies
Bruce Villwock, Transportation Landscape Designer, CT Department of Transportation; Macky McCleary, Deputy Commissioner, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; Eric McPhee, Supervising Environmental Analyst, CT Department of Public Health ; Jerry Silbert, M.D., 
Executive Director The Watershed Partnership, Inc and others.

The Connecticut Watershed Conservation Network (CWC Network) is an environmental forum sponsored by Rivers Alliance of Connecticut. The Network brings together members of river and watershed groups, land trusts, conservation commissions, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify ways we can improve our communication, share our organizational resources, and better coordinate our watershed protection efforts statewide.

The CWC Network welcomes all people and groups interested in watershed conservation in Connecticut. If you would like more information or wish to support us, please contact us at 860-361-9349 or e-mail to rivers@riversalliance.org. Services offered include e-mail news, two annual conferences, special workshops, and answers to your conservation questions.

Please consider joining our support organization, the Rivers Alliance of Connecticut. RA is a nonprofit, statewide river conservation coalition. RA's members are individuals, organizations, and corporations concerned with the health and protection of Connecticut's waters.

 Eastern Screech Owlet 
This Naugatuck Screech Owlet was rescued and retested by the Naugatuck River Revival Group on 5/22/14

A well hidden Naugatuck Screech Owlet searches for mom. May 22, 2014
If a mysterious trill catches your attention in the night, bear in mind the spooky sound may come from an owl no bigger than a pint glass. This Naugatuck Screech owlet was rescued from attacking crows and renested and is waiting for the evening to fledge. It will be glued to its reddish-brown mother for the next several months until it learns to hunt on its own.  (Photo's: NRRG)
Eastern Screech-Owls can be either mostly gray or mostly reddish-brown (rufous). Whatever the overall color, they are patterned with complex bands and spots that give the bird excellent camouflage against tree bark. Eyes are yellow. They are active at night and are far more often heard than seen—most bird watchers know this species only from its trilling or whinnying song. However, this cavity-roosting owl can be attracted to nest boxes or, if you’re sharp-eyed, spotted in daylight at the entrance to its home in a tree cavity. Source: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

DEEP: Report debris from Torrington fire found in river

Tingue Dam Bypass SeymourPhoto by Ron Merly Valley Gazette
The Naugatuck River in Seymour.(Photo: Ron Merly Valley Gazette)

Debris from a recent fire in Torrington is being reported in the Naugatuck River. The fire in a tire warehouse required foam to smother the flames.

The Connecticut Department of Emergency and Environmental Protection said solids washed into a storm drain that emptied from the west bank of the Naugatuck River immediately upstream of the East Albert Street bridge. DEEP is asking those who see accumulations of material to call DEEP Dispatch at 860-424-3338 to report additional areas where debris has accumulated to expedite the cleanup.

“Clean up from this fire is dynamic,” according to a post on the Connecticut Fish & Wildlife Facebook page. “As the current/speed of the river changes, so does accumulation of the solid particulates previously settled on the bank and bottom of the river.” 

The DEEP Emergency Response Unit is overseeing cleanup, performed by a contractor hired by those involved in the fire.

Northern Flicker's switch nesting responsibilities
Dad ducks out of the way as he switches with mom at nest

Mom shoots out past dad

Mom finally opens wings
Mom ejects herself like a bullet past dad and goes in search of bugs. (Photo's: Kevin Zak)
Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East and a bright white flash on the rump. Source: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  

Baby Red Tailed Hawks
Baby Red Tailed Hawks
Recently hatched Red Tailed Hawks. They are already able to stay in the nest alone for many hours and move clumsily around the nest in their downy white coats. (Photo: Kevin Zak)
This is probably the most common hawk in North America. If you’ve got sharp eyes you’ll see several individuals on almost any long car ride, anywhere. Red-tailed Hawks soar above open fields, slowly turning circles on their broad, rounded wings. Other times you’ll see them atop telephone poles, eyes fixed on the ground to catch the movements of a vole or a rabbit, or simply waiting out cold weather before climbing a thermal updraft into the sky. Source:  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Derby Leaders: 1st EcoFest a wonderful success!

 EcoFest 2014 
Sat. May 17th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Live Birds of Prey presentation by A Place Called Hope. 
This year was the first year for the Ecofest, held on May 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the lot on 4 Caroline St. Derby. This is the access road to enter O'Sullivan's Island. There was no charge for the event. 
Meet Todd and Christine Secki from A Place Called Hope who rescued this Red Tailed Hawk 60 feet in a tree in Wallingford last week in this video Fox CT news report. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

The goal of EcoFest is to encourage neighbors and community to understand, accept and live a greener, environmentally friendlier and healthier lifestyle. This celebration will be a short distance from the junction of two of Connecticut’s greatest rivers; the Naugatuck and Housatonic, two rivers that have felt significant human impact both good and bad.

The event had live entertainment, including presentations, speakers, children’s entertainment and a live band throughout the day in addition to an area where people were able to get hands-on understanding of the impact choices can have on the environment. 

Waterbury's T.I.G.E.R. Grant would connect the River to The Gathering
Portuguese dancers at The Gathering 2014, photo by Raechel Guest
Protuguese dancers at The Gathering 2014. (photo: Raechel Guest)
Last year an estimated 7000 people attended the first festival. This year10,000 attended. In addition to music, food and dance from around the world, several top-notch local musicians performed at The Gathering. There were 4 stages, including 2 music stages, a children's stage and a dance stage. Waterbury's Phase I Greenway Extension would directly connect this growing event to the Naugatuck River. To find details of the parade, performers, vender set-up and more click here.  

Funding to help municipalities treat wastewater


HARTFORD — Towns and cities are eligible for additional state funding for projects to remove phosphorus from sewage plant discharges. 

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation Monday that expands the number of municipalities that are eligible to receive state grants through the Clean Water Fund that cover 50 percent of phosphorus removal costs.  

New Valley Greenway Guide available: 

The Valley Greenway Guide of trails along the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers in Shelton, Derby, Ansonia and Stratford is now available in Valley town halls, libraries and community centers. Copies are also available from the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) at 860-672-6678 and online at www.hvatoday.org. HVA published this full-color, informative guide with the generous support of Pitney Bowes, Sikorsky and the Valley Community Foundation.

The guide provides an easy reference to the trails, riverwalks, river overlooks and even an historic trolley route through the valley towns. Use the guide to walk, bird, skate, fish and cycle in places close to home. Users can explore miles of riverfront trails and community paths that connect Shelton, Derby, Ansonia and Stratford to the Naugatuck and Housatonic Rivers. The guide includes maps and details about the Shelton Riverwalk, Ansonia Riverwalk, the Bluff Walk, the Derby Greenway, Sikorsky Estuary Walk as well as trails on Birchbank Mountain, the Tahmore Trail and the Derby Ansonia Beltline Trail. For a copy of the guide click here.


Business community welcomes Seymour river projects

Antique shops line the streets in downtown Seymour. (Photo: B.K. Angeletti, ST) 
By Richard Lee CTPost.com, May 12, 2014
Backers of a plan to create a greenway along the Naugatuck River in Seymour believe it will be more than a recreational and environmental improvement. They also contend that it could be a boon to the community's business district.

Their stance was supported when the Connecticut Main Street Center this month announced that the Seymour Downtown Action Strategy project received the Renewed Commitment to Main Street award of excellence.

A goal of the plan is to connect the river with the downtown through extended trails and a linear park. The project coincides with construction of a $4.5 million fish bypass ladder at the Tingue Dam funded by the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To read the full story in the Connecticut Post click here.

Why the resident and visiting Migratory Birds on the Naugatuck River matter.
Peregrines, Vultures, Osprey, Egrets, Hawks, Hummingbirds Warblers, Robins and Eagles all visit and/or live here:
The Turkey Vulture "matters" because it's part of nature's sanitation crew for feeding on carcasses. Share "Why Birds Matter" to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)!Find all the 2014 IMBD featured species at: http://www.birdday.org/birdday/themes/2014-role-of-birds/featured-species
The Turkey Vulture "matters" because it's part of nature's sanitation crew for feeding on carcasses. Share "Why Birds Matter" to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)!
To see the IMBD all Featured Species: Click here.

Ansonia’s Ospreys get new nesting perch

By Donald Eng, Valley Gazette on April 23, 2014 in Ansonia
It is a scene of natural wonder, but one that can be dangerous for some of the ospreys, which sometimes choose to build their nests high atop electric utility poles with high-voltage wires. In Ansonia, the birds’ insistence on nesting in one particular location on Riverside Drive has posed a dilemma. The nest has been a source of some outages and power interruptions. So The United Illuminating Company (UI) and its partners came up with a solution.
It is a scene of natural wonder, but one that can be dangerous for some of the ospreys, which sometimes choose to build their nests high atop electric utility poles with high-voltage wires. In Ansonia, the birds’ insistence on nesting in one particular location on Riverside Drive has posed a dilemma. The nest has been a source of some outages and power interruptions. So The United Illuminating Company (UI) and its partners came up with a solution.Valley Gazette Photo
A UI worker installs the 4-foot osprey platform atop a 55-foot pole adjacent to the Naugatuck River. (Photo: Valley Gazette)

The 2nd Annual Paddle Day thru Waterbury
took place May 10th.
It was a 7 mile course that will began at City Limits Cafe (formerly Riders) at 2627 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury and ended at the new Platt Park at the intersection of South Main and Platts Mills Road in the South End of Waterbury. It was Sponsored by the Greenway Advisory Committee
River Bank Clean up in Ansonia.
ANC_River_Cleanup_2014_Sequence 01.Still001.jpg

ANC_NRRG_River_Cleanup_2014_Sequence 01.Still002.jpg
The Ansonia Nature Center and the Naugatuck River Revival Group began cleaning the Levee that supports the Ansonia Greenway on May 10th. In what appeared to be a clean area the 2 groups quickly ran out of garbage bags and had to get more to continue. It surprised everyone how much trash was found hidden within the rock riprap levee (built to prevent a 1,000 year storm). No one knew if this area had ever been cleaned. It appeared not have been for many years. It was a tough area to clean and only a small portion of the levee was cleaned. Additional cleanups will be needed in the future.  (Photo's: NRRG)

Free Movie about the Naugatuck River.
"...beautiful, inspiring." Alison M. Rubelmann, Director, Ansonia Nature Center
"Welcome To The New Age”
Showing at the Ansonia Nature Center
Friday, May 9th at 7pm 
This is a trailer of what you will see in "Welcome To The New Age" by the Naugatuck River Revival Group.
Join Kevin Zak and Sondra Harman from the Naugatuck River Revival Group for their new Naugatuck River wildlife documentary. Please call the Ansonia Nature Center at 203.736.1053 to register. 

Derby, Beacon Falls and Thomaston follow Waterbury's lead! Can Trash Excluder's be the start to ending trash entering the Naugatuck River from the storm drain system? 
A system that dates back to Roman times and remains virtually unchanged today delivers nearly 99% of the trash that plagues the Naugatuck River and keeps it from becoming a first class river.
Waterbury's Mayor Neil O'Leary, the new Naugatuck River Champion, believes it can be done. Derby's Mayor Anita Dugotto and Beacon Falls First Selectman Chris Bielik pledge to pursue trash excluders. Thomaston's First Selectman Ed Mone begins to research the issue. Can you imagine a trash free Naugatuck River in your lifetime? We send robots out into deep space. We can stop the trash if all the towns and cities paddle in the same direction. Each of the 11 communities contribute tons of plastic and trash to the Rivers banks, bottom and into Long Island Sound then into the Atlantic Ocean. 100% of this goes out of sight and out of mind once it drops under ground entering the river unseen. Only a tiny % is seen along the river banks. To read about how a city 3,000 miles away is helping us solve this problem click here.

Give Local has ended
Click below to see final results of Upper River Valley Charities
Raised for Local Nonprofits
3,277 gifts
Totaling $374,279.02

The Great Give has ended
Click below to see results of Lower River Valley Charities
Raised for Local Nonprofits
5,779 gifts
Totaling $768,207.08

Naugatuck River once again reason to celebrate quality of life and economic development as Seymour snags top award!
To read New Haven Register story of how the Naugatuck River plays a role click here.

The Naugatuck River Valley's
Give Local
The Great Give
One Day Away!

To see the countdown clock and RULES/FAQ's click here.

On May 6 and 7, 2014, Connecticut Community Foundation, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the Valley Community Foundation is joining other community foundations throughout the United States for a national day of local giving by hosting the 2nd Give Local Greater Waterbury & Litchfield Hills and The Great Give in the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

To see a list and links to all local non profit's participating in Give Local in Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hillclick here.  
To see a list and links to all local non-profits participating in The Great Give in the Lower Naugatuck Valley community click here.

2nd Annual Naugatuck River Paddle Day looks like a great flow at this time. The River has returned quickly to great paddling conditions.
May 10, 2014: 2nd Annual Naugatuck River Greenway Paddle Day 
Location: Naugatuck River (Thomaston Avenue, Waterbury) 
Time: TBD 
Cost: $10 per paddler 
Come celebrate the future Greenway and join us in a fun non-competitive paddle down the Naugatuck River! 
This will be an approximately 7 mile course that will begin at City Limits Cafe (formerly Riders) at 2627 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury at and will end at Platt Park (located at the north end of Platts Mill Road at the intersection with South Main Street). 
Sponsored by the Greenway Advisory committee. Click here for more information.

The Naugatuck River Rocks East Rock


Kaitlin Falzone, Julian Simhoni, Tess Simchoni and Sondra Harman represent the Naugatuck River with team Naugatuck River Revival Group in the 1st annual Rock The Gauntlet competition at East Rock Park in New Haven May 4th. (Photo: Naugatuck River Revival Group)

Waterbury's 11th annual Earth Day attracts over 500 on Saturday! The River and the City is a cleaner place because of it.
Cancelled last Saturday because of rain, hundreds of volunteers spread out over the city and took on tough areas to clean to make their city a better place. A little known fact is this trash picked up will not make it into the storm drain system which carries it in nearby streams and then into the Naugatuck River. Click here for story in Rep Am.
From left, Jesus Planas, 16, Kenny Finnrgan, 16, and Hector Canelo, 16 all of Waterbury clean trash on Long Hill Road in Waterbury Saturday. Crosby High School students were cleaning up trash in the North End as part of an Earth Day project. (Photo: Steven Valenti Republican-American)

Beacon Falls Duck Day Festival along the Naugatuck River under beautiful blue skies a success.


Promoting open space, music,  local groups, food and more was enjoyed by many at the Annual River Fest on May 3rd in Beacon Falls. The local Lions Club was the main sponsor and organizer. One of the best bands in the Valley the Brass City Blues Band provided the music. (Photo's: Naugatuck River Revival Group)

Naugatuck already enjoying strolls on $2.1 million Phase One riverwalk
Naugatuck already enjoying strolls on $2.1 million Phase One riverwalk
Lisa Eggers of Naugatuck walks with her children, Maxwell, 9, Mimi, 7, and Nathan, 18 months, at the Naugatuck Greenway on Saturday. (Photo:Paul Singley Republican-American)

NAUGATUCK — Times have changed along the Naugatuck River.
Years ago, even on glorious spring days, people shunned the river. As a practical matter, there were not many places to stand or walk if you wanted to fish or stroll. The river was crowded with factories, scrub wood and litter. The river smelled, its noxious odors the result of years of industrial waste and thoughtless dumping by residents.Click here to see story and photo's.

Trail  volunteers start clearing old trolley bridge
In Thomaston, trail volunteers start clearing old trolley bridge 
The City of Torrington is preparing to install a parking lot and gardens on this lot off Franklin Street in Torrington. Though it is not directly related to the planned Naugatuck River Greenway it will clean up the neighborhood and highlight the river as an asset. Alec Johnson/ Republican-American

In fewer than four hours on April 26, about 20 volunteers cleared the first measurable Thomaston portion of the Naugatuck River Greenway.

Slogging through mud behind the town's transfer station, they cleared an old trolley bridge and about 300 feet of trail leading to the Watertown line, where an existing dirt path runs south along Route 8. Click here for photo's.

Reconnecting to the river
SPECIAL REPORT Reconnecting to the river 
Efforts to revive access to the Naugatuck from Torrington to Derby now include Waterbury's $29 million grand vision 
BY PENELOPE OVERTON REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN Click here to see story and artist renderings 

Today is the day to stop trash from entering the river! Join Waterbury and help Pick Up Litter before it gets into the storm drains.
2014 Earth Day.jpg

Naugatuck Public Works Director worries about sewer line that runs under Fulling Mill Brook. Future storms can cause pipe to wash out. Raw sewage can run into the Naugatuck River if not fixed.
May 2, 2014-Luke Marshall, Staff Writer Cirizen's News
(Naugatuck's capital) projects include $800,000 to begin upgrading the wastewater treatment facility and $300,000 to make repairs to a sewer line.

The facility upgrades, which are required by federal mandate to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from the water, are estimated to cost $55 million over five years. Public Works Director Jim Stewart requested $8.1 million to begin the work.

Stewart said the sewer line that runs under Fulling Mill Brook is in danger of failure. The brook has eroded the walls near the pipe and caused them to collapse, he said.

“The engineers have looked at this and they are very worried that a few more storms later that pipe gets washed out and you’ve got raw sewage running in the river and we’re working on an emergency basis,” Stewart said.

Kayak race canceled. Ducks will still race.
(Photo: Kevin Zak)
BEACON FALLS — The 7th annual Naugatuck Valley River Race set for Saturday has been canceled due to high water levels. Faber said the river levels were studied Friday. He wrote the river is moving very fast and the banks are over trees making it too risky.

The Beacon Falls River Fest and Lion’s Club duck race are still on as scheduled. The festival will be held from 12 to 5 p.m. at Volunteer Park behind the firehouse on North Main Street.

The festival will feature vendors, live music and family activities. It all leads up to the annual duck race.
Tickets for a rubber duck to enter the race are $5 each. All the rubber ducks are collected and dumped into the river to race. Duck race tickets will be available during the festival.

First place prize this year is $1,000 and second place wins a 14-foot Wilderness Systems Kayak. The ducks that come in third to seventh place will win a $100 gift certificate from local businesses for their owners.

All of the money raised supports local charities.

O’Sullivan’s Island a step closer to remediation after Connecticut awards it $200,000

A view of the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers meeting at O’Sullivan’s Island Recreation Park in Derby. (Photo: Arnold Gold  New Haven Register FILE PHOTO)
By Patricia Villers, New Haven Register
DERBY >> Local officials on (April 16th)  hailed a $200,000 state grant that will help revitalize a brownfield site on O’Sullivan’s Island.

The Board of Aldermen in January voted to close O’Sullivan’s Island to the public because of health concerns over suspected contamination. The closure included Phase III of the recreational Greenway.

Derby is part of the Regional Brownfields Partnership. O’Sullivan’s Island has been a Brownfield site for many years. Despite its name, the strip of land is a peninsula at the confluence of the Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers. Click here for full story.

Friday,12:30pm the river at Thomaston gauge is 2,190cfs. Beacon Falls is 3,710cfs! Please use caution. 
Note: From time to time with major rainfall the USGS gauge appears to malfunction. Nothing can compare to instinct and common sense when going near the river and do not rely only on made made mechanical devises and gauges.

Understanding Streamflow and Flood Data: 
Exploring Historic Floods

Gauge height measures the height of water surface compared to a horizontal reference point on the gauge.  As the river floods and the surface of the water grows higher and higher above the river's normal level, the gauge height increases.  When the Naugatuck River gauge height reaches 12-feet it is considered to be at 'Flood Stage.'  'Moderate Flood Stage' is reached when the river exceeds 13-feet, and 'Major Flood Stage', the most severe flood rating is reached when the river exceeds 14-feet. 
To put gauge height in perspective, consider the following references offered by NOAA NWS: 
  • At 12-feet flooding begins in the upstream towns of Waterbury and Naugatuck
  • At 20-feet the river level just touches the underside of the bridge on Bridge Street
  • At 21-feeet flooding begins along Route 8 from the Naugatuck town line downstream to the Seymour town line.
2008-2012FloodEvents-BeaconFallsUSGSGauge.gifAt right is a graph of all of the recorded gauge height measurements at Beacon Falls between October 2007 and March 2012.  The red line indicates the 12-foot flood stage, while the blue line shows the data points recorded.  When the blue line extends above the red line it means that the river was considered to be at flood stage.  Notice that gauge height varies, ranging from about 1 foot to over 14-feet.  In 2011, the river exceeded Flood Stage twice at the USGS gauge in Beacon Falls.  During Hurricane Irene in August of 2011, the river exceeded the 14-foot Major Flood Stage rating.   

It was 655cfs at 6:30pm at the Thomaston USGS gauge on Wed.
At 8:30am Tuesday it was 390cfs (867cfs in Beacon Falls). On April 26th it was 185cfs. The average for this day in Thomaston for the past 52 years of the Naugatuck River is 253cfs, the high was 1590cfs in 1979. The low was 65cfs in 1985.
Always scout conditions and KNOW THE FLOW to stay safe. 

Paddlers should be aware that sections of the river do contain rapids. These sections are dangerous, and can be lethal to even the best paddlers after heavy rain events. Make sure to always scout your paddle route before you head out and to not attempt sections above your experience and skill level. The Naugatuck River is always changing.  Read this article in the Waterbury Observer for safety tips and to learn more about the dangers of paddling unprepared on the Naugatuck River. Explore our recreation section to see dramatic pictures of a 2013 white water rescue on the Naugatuck River along Platts Mills Road. Collinsville Canoe and Kayak on the Farmington River has strict policies regarding the rental of their whitewater kayaks. They will not just rent to anyone without a test for basic skills in the river behind their shop. You’ll have to perform a wet exit, and it doesn’t matter if the water is cold. They will get you wet.  Both you and your local kayak shop should work together to ensure your safety on the river. If you want to rent a kayak you need to know how to use it, period. Click here for Collinsville rental informationClick here for CtOutdoors rental information.

Boy Scout Troop 140 under leadership of Waterbury's William Fitzpatrick continues 22 years of cleaning and beautifying 1 mile of Naugatuck River in Waterbury.

RIVER CLEANUP 4-19-14 (97).JPG
Instead of fishing on Opening Day scouts of Troop 140 of Oakville, CT completed four conservation projects as a Troop-Self-Stewardship commitment to protecting and improving the Naugatuck River. A commitment they have honored for the last 22 years. About a ton of unsightly debris was removed, 45 existing Bird Nesting Boxes were cleaned out or removed and 20 new ones were put up. Now there are 50 blue bird/tree swallow, one wood duck and one owl house along that stretch of the river and RT8. Scouts inspected tree bases that are protected with wire fencing from beavers felling them. The elimination of trees that shade the river’s waters increases thermal pollution, which has a negative impact on aquatic life. They recorded wildlife sighting, planted hundreds of flower seeds, flowering plants and dozens of ground cover tubers. 
Kneeling L-R -Kaitlyn Voity, (WAMS), Emily Pelz (WAMS), Hunter Mancini, Nick Pietrorazio, Alex Pannone, Standing L-R, Gabe Pietrorazio, Mark DiFelice, Ken Quirke, Brendan Wilmot, Ed Pannone, Chris Quirke, Dean Hutchinson (WAMS), Rich DiFederico, Noah Difelice, Issac Hutchinson (WAMS), Lynn Mancini and Paul Magalhaes. (Photo's: William Fitzpatrick)

The First Annual Down By The River Festival will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2014, at the Riverwalk and Veterans Memorial Park on Canal Street in Shelton, CT. 
The Bike for HOPE ride is a family-oriented bike run that will encompass completed sections of the Naugatuck Greenway. The run will not be timed and racing is not allowed. Click here for more information.

Yaks and Quacks returns May 3rd to the Naugatuck River.
duck race
BEACON FALLS — Kayaks, canoes and rubber ducks are getting ready to share the Naugatuck River again during the annual River Fest. The festival will take place May 3. The event combines the 16th annual Beacon Falls Lions Club’s Duck Festival and the 7th annual Naugatuck Valley River Race. From noon to 5 p.m. festive activities, including food, crafts, vendors and live music by the Naugatuck-based Rubber City Blues Band, will be taking place at Volunteer Park behind the firehouse on North Main Street. Click here for more information.

The End of Trash in the Naugatuck River?
 Waterbury's Mayor, Senior Advisor and Waterbury Greenway Chairman have the answer and take the first step one day after Earth Day.
They will end trash from their city entering the River from their underground Storm Drain System.
Can it be done? By the year 2024? Its cost?
The answer's may surprise you.
  All 11 towns and cities have this never ending supply of trash flowing directly into the river from their own storm drains. This trash is from parking lots, behind strip malls and streets often miles away from the river. 99% of Naugatuck River trash comes from these sources. What town will follow Waterbury's proactive stance?
Do the the other towns know how to stop it? Can you imagine a trash free Naugatuck River in your life time?
Stay tuned for details.

Honoring Earth Day: April 22nd
Watertown Land Trust and the Town of Watertown sponsored Earth Day discussion with Margaret Miner, Executive Director of River's Alliance of Connecticut.
A special Earth Day Panel Discussion was held featuring Margaret Minor of Rivers Alliance, Chuck Berger, Town of Watertown, and Kevin Zak, Naugatuck River Revival Group. Topics included river and stream protection, Steele Brook Greenway, a unique Thomaston/Watertown Greenway collaboration and the Naugatuck River. There was also a special Naugatuck River video by the Naugatuck River Revival Group featuring falcons, eagles, hawks, river cleaning and the building of the Tingue Dam Bypass. This event was held at the Watertown High School Lecture Room. Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is a statewide non-profit organization that protects Connecticut’s rivers. (Photo: Sondra Harman)

Fishing Season 

is officially open on the Naugatuck!

Seymour-20120805-00241.jpgThis young lad caught this Small Mouth bass below the Tingue Dam in Seymour. (Photo: Courtesy of CTfishtalk.com)

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 8:30am

Naugatuck River Greenway 5k Charity Run


Proceeds to benefit local Valley Charities

Click here for more information.

Baby Eagle hatched on the Naugatuck! The 4th in 3 years.


Dad returns with fish to feed his new born chick and take over baby sitting for mom. At least one egg has survived the hard winter and the laboring nest. Mom takes break in lower photo (silver bands can be seen).  A testament to the resilience of this wonderful ecosystem we call the Naugatuck River Valley and we call home. (Photo's: Kevin Zak)

$80,000,000 to $90,000,000 bus maintenance facility along Naugatuck River Greenway in Watertown to be finished in 2017.
No money in the budget to help build any portion of the Greenway according to CT-DOT Project Manager.
Greenway hot topic at CT-DOT public information meeting at Watertown High School reports Waterbury Republican American. 

You deserve clean water all year long! 
Please help us!
Please send us photo's of people using the Naugatuck River between the months of October and April 31st. Any year is helpful.
If you fish, swim, boat or paddle board before May 1st then we want to hear from you. We are helping the Connecticut River Steward Jacqueline Talbot gather information on river use in our state to encourage CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) to extend their disinfection season so river users can enjoy our rivers safely. 
Did you know? Waste water going into rivers in CT is typically only disinfected for bacteria from May 1 - September 30. You can help us document river use so CT DEEP can see the true need for river protection all year long. 
Roger Swiderski shows off this beautiful 24 inch Salmon caught in the Naugatuck River on Dec 12, 2013. Roger carefully angled and released the fish unharmed back into the River.
(Photo: Rob Nicholas)

The first professional Drift boat spotted on the Naugatuck River guiding client!


Professional angler Rob Nicholas of Housatonic Anglers guides Roger Swiderski safely thru the boulder field through scenic Naugatuck State Forest.  The Drift boat pictured is an Aire Super Puma raft with frame and casting platforms. Since 1993, Rob Nicholas (owner / head guide) has been guiding and teaching the sport of fly fishing to all skill levels from beginner to expert on both the Housatonic and Farmington rivers and now the Naugatuck, as well as some lesser known, smaller streams. Water level will determine if the day is suitable for the Naugatuck. Today April 11th was perfect: at the Thomaston USGS gage site it was 300 cfs. Know the flow! (Photo's: Kevin Zak)

City of Waterbury holds a community Greenway Workshop.  Construction of 2.1 mile Phase I to start Spring 2015. From Waterbury/Naugatuck town line to Eagle Street along Platts Mills Road and South Main Street.

Thinking ahead: Waterbury reveals new W.A.T.E.R. Project (Waterbury's Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence Project).

Jackson Wandres, RBA's Senior Associate, explains Waterbury's ambitious $30 million 5 component W.A.T.E.R. Project at a Public Workshop held at Waterbury's Arts Magnet School last evening.
The whole presentation was taped and will be made available on local community access Skye Cable TV.  (Photo: Kevin Zak)

CT Department of Public Health: Q&A's about O'Sullivan's Island , Derby is available.

O'Sullivan's Island, Derby. Bottom photo shows the confluence of the Naugatuck River (on the right) and Housatonic River. (Photo's: Morgan, AEROPIX, May 10, 2011)
This is the most up to date and comprehensive fact sheet covering the background, what chemicals, eating fish, hiking,
next steps, safety and danger's regarding the site.

Fish stocking in segments of the Naugatuck River have been completed in time for Opening Day April 19th. However, stocking scheduled next week has been postponed because of the Torrington fire.
DEEP cleans toxic debris, oil from Naugatuck River banks after Torrington fire. Connecticut's DEEP helps to prevent further contamination into the Naugatuck River after the Toce Brothers fire in Torrington. (Photo: Shawn Sienkiewicz)
Naugatuckriver.net will keep you informed when new information is made available. 
According to a WFSB Channel 3 Eyewitness report "firefighters said an extremely minor sheen and some solid debris were in the water. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection deployed booms to stop it at spots along the Naugatuck River.

"Environmentally, it's very low risk so far as far as aquatic toxicity is concerned," said Jeff Chandler with CT DEEP.

When a tire fire breaks out, the tires break down into hazardous compounds. The average tire is estimated to produce more than 2 gallons of oil, so that means hundreds and hundreds of gallons were mixed in with the runoff water used to fight this blaze." To read the Ch3 story: Fire out, cleanup continues in Torrington.   

Major Fire in Torrington has some worried about fish kills in the Naugatuck River.
Firefighters battled a five-alarm fire at 96 Albert St. in Torrington Thursday. (Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez — Register Citizen)
By  Isaac Avilucea, The Register CitizenPools of white foam flowed out of the facility late Thursday night, making its way to the city’s drainage gutters, and possibly, to the Naugatuck River. While fire officials said foam is more effective than water in extinguishing petroleum fires, the product could come with drawbacks, the Environmental Protection Agency warns, and some residents expressed concern about toxic chemical runoff getting into and polluting the Naugatuck River, a 40-mile stretch of water that carves its way south from northwest Connecticut into the Housatonic Valley and serves as vital watershed for parts of the state.

What has local environmental officials more worried is small tire chunks that could get stuck in fish gills, Jeff Chandler, supervisor for Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said. The department put booms in the river to sop up runoff, but Chandler said some of it will inevitably find its way into the water.“You can see the debris falling out of the water,” he said.
Foam runoff as seen on South Main Street in Torrington Thursday as firefighters battled a five-alarm fire at 96 Albert St.(Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez — Register Citizen)
The Torrington Area Health District sent out a release Friday with additional information on how residents near the fire site should safely clear any remaining ash or soot from their properties.

In addition to keeping children and pets away from the debris, the health district advised anyone experience respiratory problems to contact a doctor.

For removing soot, rubber particles, or other debris from property, residents should spray surfaces with water and/or use a biodegradable detergent to clean the area, and wipe them clean while wearing gloves to protect skin, the release stated. For plants and lawns covered in soot, they recommend heavily watering the area so the particles can be washed into the soil.

A New look to Naugatuckriver.net coming soon in 2015.
Lynn Werner, Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Association, greets Charles J. Boulier III, President and CEO of the new ION Bank, to discuss and celebrate the new Naugatuck River Greenway and thank ION Bank personally for their generous contribution to the HVA to update the existing NR.net website. Pictured is the new Pulaski Foot Bridge over the River.  (Photo's: Joseph Bottacari)

Flooding at Tingue Dam Bypass site after weekend rains:

Dec 4th 2013 Bypass Construction

In the top and bottom photo taken March 31st the River over takes the lower cofferdam. The middle photo was taken Dec. 4th. The comparison shows the progress and how fortunate the contractor has been with the lack of rain until now.  cofferdam is a temporary structure designed to keep water and/or soil out of the excavation in which a bridge pier or other structure is built. When construction must take place below the water level, a cofferdam is built to give workers a dry work environment."cofferdam" comes from "coffer" meaning box, in other words a dam in the shape of a box. (Photo's: Kevin Zak)

Property along Naugatuck River given to Torrington for $1 in January.

The city is hoping to turn this former industrial property off Franklin Street into green space and a parking area this summer. The city presented this plan for 100 Franklin St. to the Wetlands Commission in Torrington Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The amount of parking depends on how much contamination is found. This plan, drawn by Kimberly Barbieri, the city's wetlands and zoning enforcement officer, shows a scenario if the entire property is found to be contaminated. (Photo/story: Alec Johnson/ Republican-American)

Artist rendering of a 276,000 square-foot CT-DOT storage facility along Naugatuck River.
Construction to start 2015.
An artistic rendering shows a planned new bus maintenance and storage facility in Watertown. CT Department of Transportation. (Courtesy: Rep-Am)

Spring on the Naugatuck!

Seen here is "White Tail"a very un-common Common Grackle. At times he can be seen at the Naugatuck River Recreation Access along Platts Mills Road. It is a the site of this years kayak and canoe race on May 5, 2014. He has been around for the last 2 years. They can live up to 22 years. You might see a Common Grackle hunched over on the ground, wings spread, letting ants crawl over its body and feathers. This is called anting, and grackles are frequent practitioners among the many bird species that do it. The ants secrete formic acid, the chemical in their stings, and this may rid the bird of parasites. In addition to ants, grackles have been seen using walnut juice, lemons and limes, marigold blossoms, chokecherries, and mothballs in a similar fashion. (Photo: Kevin Zak)


The Turkey and Black Vultures are back from their spring migration and can be seen throughout the Naugatuck Valley. This Turkey Vulture glides low over the Naugatuck River at Spruce Brook in the Naugatuck State Forest on Sunday, March 23rd. It has a wingspan of 6 feet. The body feathers are mostly brownish-black, but the flight feathers on the wings appear to be silvery-gray beneath, contrasting with the darker wing linings.The adult's head is small in proportion to its body and is red in color with few to no feathers. It also has a relatively short, hooked, ivory-colored beak.The Black Vulture is relatively shorter-tailed and shorter-winged, which makes it appear smaller in flight than the Turkey Vulture. Black Vultures have a uniform black wing but has distinct silver tips to their primary wing feathers. Black Vulture's head and neck are featherless and the skin is dark gray and wrinkled. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

Nearly 100 Ring-necked Ducks 
97 Ring-necked Ducks feeding in a retention pond along the Naugatuck River. If they were waiting for the ice to melt they did not have to wait for long. By the end of the day all ice was gone.The above photo was taken March 22, 2014.  These birds are omnivores and feed mainly by diving or dabbling at the surface. Males are a little bit bigger than the female. It has two white rings surrounding its gray bill, a shiny black angular head, black back, white line on the wings, a white breast and yellow eyes. The adult female has a grayish brown angular head and body with a dark brown back, a dark bill with a more subtle light band than the male, grayish-blue feet and brown eyes with white rings surrounding them. This pond with its own amazing ecosystem has visiting, pintail ducks, mergansers, gulls, vultures, geese and eagles.  (Photo: Kevin Zak)

1st Osprey of the year spotted on nest along the Naugatuck River.
In flight over the Naugatuck River. Harassed by several crows after returning from an approximate 6,000 mile migration an Osprey was spotted over the River in Waterbury, Sunday, March 16th. On Saturday, March 22nd the first Osprey was spotted on a nest in Naugatuck. 2 were spotted in their sky dance over the skies of Seymour on March 22nd. Last year there were 8 nests on the River. One was destroyed by lightening in Seymour and an other was an unsuccessful attempt next to the controversial Cl&P  pole #G8704 in Beacon Falls. Their nest can weigh up to a 1,000 pounds. Also known as a fish eagle they measure 6 feet across the wings. In flight, the Osprey has arched wings and drooping "hands", giving it a gull-like appearance. In the photo below you can see a size comparison to the larger Eagle. To read more about Naugatuck River Osprey and "Why Osprey Matter" click here. (Photo:Kevin Zak)

Eagle flipped by Osprey over Seymour 2013 #3
This is a photo of an Osprey and Eagle fighting for territory over the skies of the Naugatuck River in Seymour in 2013. The Eagle is upside down in an attempt to avoid the out stretched talons of the Osprey. They have nests close to each other. These same enemies may have done battle the year before and were caught on video both times. They can be seen challenging each other in NRRG documentaries. Will it be long before this scene is repeated? Great Horned Owls, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles are the only major predators of Osprey, capable of taking both nestlings and adults. Raccoons and utility companies have been known to take the eggs of Osprey. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

1st Naugatuck River Greenway's 5k Charity Run.
*T-shirts to all pre-registered walkers & runners  
*Race limited to 200 registered runners/walkers
*Trophy awards to 1st male & female
and 1st place in all age group runners
*Beautiful, flat, scenic raceway along the river
*Family fun event • Walkers encouraged

Peregrine's prepare for nesting:
Peregrine_female_Sequence 09.Still004.jpg


Sequence 09.Still007.jpg
This female Peregrine was feeding along side Ice Fisherman at O'Sullivan's Island on March 11th. Shortly she will begin the exhausting process of incubating her eggs and hopefully raise her young. The 2nd photo is an example of how we can share the environment when we respect each others space. In the 3rd photo Smart Phone's are just as important as the Gull is for the egg bearing Peregrine a short distance away.
The Naugatuck River is exploding with evidence of Spring.
(Photo's: Kevin Zak)

 Eagle's return to rebuild nest!

Eagle_nesting_material_Sequence 09.Still001.jpg

Female Eagle Seymour
 Last years collapsed nest has been rebuilt and this picture of the female taken on 3/11 is about to lay her eggs. The male is actively hunting along the River. They will share in the incubation and continue to build the nest so there is a great opportunity to see one of them hunting and picking up nesting material along the River. In the April 1st middle photo the Female is bringing in material and relieves her mate. (Photo's: Kevin Zak) 

The Tingue Dam Bypass
TingueDamBypass_Sequence 09.Still008.jpg
Construction of the Tingue Dam Bypass Park continues as seen in this March 11th evening photo. The stairs bringing
 visitors to the river takes shape in what looks like the building of a Mayan temple. In a bit of irony these stairs are both symbolic and an example of how the fish will once again migrate up and down the River thru the Bypass.
Special lighting will be installed on site that will allow certain species of fish to migrate during the night that would be stopped with normal lighting. (Photo: Kevin Zak)

Spotted on the Naugatuck River for the first time in Waterbury/Naugatuck.
Featured above is a pair of Common Goldeneye's in their winter finest. A flock of males and females were spotted courting and fishing in the Naugatuck River this morning along the Platts Mills section of the Naugatuck River. They form pairs in November but won't mate until spring. If anyone is lucky enough to take a photo of them on the River please send it to us at naugatuckwebsite@hvatoday.org.

 The Naugatuck River: Taking A Look Back at 2013
A 5 minute video trailer of the NRRG documentaries of the Naugatuck River. 
Posted to YouTube.com on Jan 4 2014 by Naugatuck River Revival Group, Inc.

An Act Concerning the Dam Safety Program dramatically changes the responsibilities of dam owners for inspections
Last inspected 34 years ago: Aging Kinneytown Dam:
ENEL North America, owner of the Kinneytown dam on the Naugatuck River, must inspect their dam for safety this year.
KinneytownDam2014-01-30 at 12.00.14 PM.png
(Image: Landsat, 2013 Google)
The Kinneytown Dam pictured above is classified as "Intermediate " in size because of its storage capacity of 1,900 Acre-Feet and is rated as a Class B significant hazard potential dam.
  "It is important to note the condition of a dam depends on constant changes to internal and external conditions and is evolutionary in nature.  It would be incorrect to assume that the present condition of the dam will continue to represent the condition of the dam at any point in the future. Only through continued care and inspection can there be any chance that unsafe conditions be detected." (From last inspection:ACOE 1980 report on the Kinneytown Dam)   

New legislation went into effect October 1, 2013 that requires dam owners to be responsible for regular inspections of their dams. This month, DEEP's Dam Safety Program will be notifying owners who will be required to inspect their dams in the calendar year 2014. These inspections must be conducted by a licensed professional engineer.

In addition, dam owners will be responsible for ensuring that all new dam construction and repairs are properly inspected and certified and dam owners that own a high or significant hazard dam will also be required to provide an updated emergency action plan for their dams. 

The following is from an Army Corps 104 page report from 1980: The Kinneytown Dam is a run-of-the-river dam across the Naugatuck River with a crest length of 413 feet. The maximum height of the dam is 32.5 feet. A railway embankment forms the left abutments and an earth embankment approximately 50 feet in length connects the right training wall to the right abutment. A diversion intake structure and canal located to the left of the dam and separated from the river by a railroad embankment diverts water from the impoundment to a downstream ponds, where it is used to generate electricity and for processing purposes for a downstream manufacturing plant. Based upon the visual inspection and a review of all available pertinent data, the dam is considered to be in fair condition. The erosion and undermining of the spillway apron, deterioration of the concrete of the spillway, aprons, and training walls, seepage downstream of the left training wall and through the right training wall, deterioration and lateral movement of the left sheet pile wall, and tree growth on the earth embankment require further investigation or attention. 

These Dam's are rated: Hazard Class AA, A, BB,B and C.
Kinneytown is rated as a Class B significant hazard potential dam.

A Class B dam is a significant hazard potential dam which, if it were to fail,
would result in any of the following: (i) possible loss of life; (ii) minor damage to habitable structures, residences, hospitals, convalescent homes, schools, etc.; (iii) damage to or interruption of the use of service of utilities; (iv) damage to primary roadways (less than 1500 ADT) and railroads; (v) significant economic loss. 

 A section of O'Sullivan's Island Closed!
A story about politics, money and public safety.
Read the prevailing reason why in The Valley Gazette's (story by Donal Eng) and The Valley Independent Sentinel's (story by Eugene Driscoll).
Naugatuckriver.net will keep you informed as this story develops.

Entrance to the Park is from the west along the Housatonic River and under RT 8.
The Greenway Trail and Boat Ramp remains open. The area that has been closed is the large field pictured above.  At the moment "abundance of caution" is being expressed.

Great Horned Owl's are nesting now.
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(Video Courtesy of NRRG, Inc.: Welcome To The New Age, 2013)
Momma Great Horned has claimed her nest once again. She was first seen in the platform on January 31, 2014.
In 2010 A Place Called Hope re-nested a Great Horned Owlet in a man made platform nest. After placing the fallen chick in its new home the mother resumed care and 13 days later the owlet fledged. Every year for four years the parents have nested in this platform. To date 7 chicks have been raised and fledged from the platform.

(Photo: Todd Secki of Spirit Hawk Photography)

The video is of an adult Great Horned Owl and an Great Horned Owlet. The Adult Great Horned Owl was rescued, rehabbed and released back into the wild by the Naugatuck River Revival Group and A Place Called Hope in 2013. The Owlet was rescued and renested in 2012.
The adult had 2 broken bones after being hit by a car. Her rescue and release is featured in the movie Welcome To The New Age. Great Horned Owls are nesting now. Eggs hatch after about 30 days of incubation in February. Why risk the harsh winter months? One reason may be because the babies are dependent on their parents for a long time thru the Summer and into Fall. You can visit a live Great Horned Owl named Mary at the Ansonia Nature Center all year long. They also have wild resident Great Horned Owl's that live in their easily accessible and forested/trailed 100+ acres. These residents at times visit Mary in her out door aviary. Don't miss Ansonia Nature Center's Owl Program on Feb. 17th at 2pm. For directions and more information click here. 

 Little Green Heron hunts the Naugatuck River:
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(Video: Kevin Zak)

On their way to...Hop Brook? The Mad River? Steele Brook? Hancock Brook? or Thomaston?
 These migrating fish are blocked by the Tingue Dam. 
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(Video's Courtesy of NRRG, Inc.: Welcome To The New Age with the NAUGATUCK RIVER Revival Group, 2013)
If a picture is worth a thousand words than what is the value of the silent voice of these fish. 
These September 2013 video's are of fish determined to migrate to the upper Naugatuck River to spawn like their ancestor's did for ten's of thousands of years leading up to 1763.
Where did they come from? It is highly probable that they came from Long Island Sound up the Housatonic River taking a right (by mistake) into the Naugatuck River then navigating into and up the Kinneytown Fish Ladder ( click here to view video's of the fish ladder and dam.) and became stuck here at the base of the Tingue Dam only one mile north of Kinneytown. Very few fish get past the Kinneytown Dam. These fish are unaware that the Tingue Dam Fish Bypass was about to begin construction just feet away. If they survive into late 2014 they will get another chance when the Bypass is completed in late 2014. Future migrating fish will be swimming along side soon to be built Naugatuck River Greenways. The river, its people, the wildlife and these fish are beginning a new journey of restoring the quality of life for all. This video shows that we have not yet killed their instincts and that we still have a chance to bring them back. 


Antique train ride along the River
Published on Jun 24, 2013 on YouTube the train called        
Lehigh Valley Coal 126 climbing the .6% grade and reverse curves at MP 7 on the Naugatuck River, 6-22-2013. Whistle is a repro KCS 3-chime.
(Courtesy: RMNEphoto)
A train travels through a beautiful winter landscape along the Naugatuck River.
(Courtesy: County Times)

Could raw sewage dumped in Naugatuck River in Seymour been intentional and is the story over?

Question's remain: When was it first reported? When was it responded to? How long did it take to get under control? What is the protocol for an emergency? Before Chicago based Veolia Water North America was given a 22 year contract, who was responsible for checking and maintaing the sewer lines? Why was Veolia given a 22 year contract without the maintenance responsibility? The Naugatuck River's quality depends on all towns within the watershed working and working together for a healthy Naugatuck River Valley, lower Housatonic River and Long Island Sound. If it was not intentional it will likely happen again if the lines are not maintained. The New Haven Register reports that the blockage may have been intentional (to read NH Register article click here). Reader beware as to the real cause to the break. There are still inconsistencies in the story. It is easy to divert attention from the real story by making simple statements to the press.

In the photo below a truck was stationed on South Main Street between Bellevue Terrace and Robin Road, above the broken manhole, to transport sewage to the wastewater treatment facility. It was reported on Dec 30th that the flow of wastewater was filling the 3,500-gallon tank every few hours. 
A truck pumps wastewater from a manhole on South Main Street for disposal. (Photo: Donald Eng, Valley Gazette)
(Courtesy: World Image)
 There is no estimate on how long it will take to devise a permanent solution. Gabby's Auto Body can be seen opposite side of river just north of Kinnettown Dam and ENEL's  Hydroplant.  (Photo courtesy: Donald Eng, Valley Gazette)

Seymour is looking into its options following the spill that blocked a sewer line under the Naugatuck River and sent an estimated 150,000 gallons of sewage into the water. However, the first estimates of 150,000 gallons may be a bit greater than what actually entered the river. Questions still remain regarding the response time to the accident and to problems that maybe plaguing the aging sewer system in Seymour. 

Derby Greenway Phase III Completed.
The City of Derby is in advanced stages of building their trail system. The phase III is on the O'Sullivan Island portion of the Greenway. The extension includes the installation of a pedestrian footbridge over one of the inlets from the Naugatuck River near the current cul de sac next to the railroad bridge. The map below shows the existing trail marked in blue and the extension in red. 

  O'Sullivan's Island is center of map. Naugatuck River flows right to left (bottom of map) and Housatonic River is upper left. Rt 8 runs north to the right and crosses over Greenway top center. Cul de sac is located where blue and red meet at bottom of map. Compare with photo below.
View of O'Sullivan's Island,  Naugatuck River and Housatonic River. Derby Greenway Phase II and cul de sac can be seen along Rt 8 and just below railroad trestle. The dotted line represents the New Haven and Fairfield County boundary. This is the home territory of just a few of the Naugatuck Valley Peregrine Falcon's. (Courtesy: World Imagery)

The 1.8 mile Derby Greenway opened in June 2006 and has served as a popular recreational outlet for walkers, bikers and joggers. It was the first completed section of the Naugatuck River Greenway, which begins in Torrington and ends in Derby.

Phase II of the greenway was completed in September 2007, and featured installation of benches and the Hall of Fame Plaza, which features notable residents who played a significant role in shaping Derby's history.

And while city officials are thrilled to see Phase III completed, has been "prioritized and is under review by the state Department of Transportation prior to a formal announcement of funding."

Phase IV is in the process of being modified and calls for extending the greenway westward along Route 34 and the Housatonic River, commencing at the Derby/Shelton Bridge and eventually connecting with Osbornedale State Park.

Derby, Connecticut is a city blessed to have not one, but two rivers running through it. Those rivers (Housatonic and Naugatuck) which run into Long Island Sound have played - and continue to play - a major role in the history of the city. Currently, there are four bridges for consumer traffic and two railroad trestles in use. To see the bridges click here. And if you really want to see the bridges up close, take a stroll on Derby's spectacular new Greenway which links all of the bridges together. The photo below is of a fledgling Peregrine Falcon visitors to O'Sullivan's Island had an opportunity to watch grow up while Phase III progressed.
Baby Peregrine calls to Mom and Dad. Derby's O'Sullivan's Island Greenway 2013.
To see a closeup and personal video of this youngster click here.
(Photo: Kevin Zak)

In case you missed It: A look back to June 15, 2013:

David Ahern, of Derby (L) applauds Rep. Rosa DeLauro, 6/15, during the dedication of the bronze plaque donated by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The dedication took place at the Division Street entrance to the Greenway. (Photo: Melanie Stengle, New Haven Register)

Elected officials and residents dedicated a bronze plaque installed at the Division Street entrance to the Greenway on the Derby Hall of Fame Plaza.

The plaque is a gift from former U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. It was presented to the city by John Monroe of the National Park Service.

The recreational trail is situated along the Naugatuck River.

Jack Walsh, Derby Greenway Committee chairman, said he remembered in 1955 when there "was a mysterious thing called the Naugatuck River. It was every color of the rainbow."

Walsh said today the river is "one of the greatest environmental cleanup stories in United States."

Mayor Anthony Staffieri agreed. He said he remembers what the river used to be like. "I'm so proud of what it is now," Staffieri said. The Greenway was opened in 2005.

He thanked U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3, who was on hand at the ceremony, for securing funding for the Greenway projects in the Valley. "Today thousands enjoy the Derby Greenway -- and Ansonia's (Riverwalk)," Staffieri said.

"Derby loves its Greenway," he said. "We are completing Phase III which includes 1,500 feet and a beautiful pedestrian bridge."

Staffieri said he was thrilled to be a part of the cleanup and restoration of the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers." He called the confluence of the two rivers near O'Sullivan's Island "a gem."

Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe said the extended walkway across Division Street that is the Ansonia Riverwalk has added to "quality of life" in Ansonia.

Amazing Opportunity: Naugatuck River Valley takes major step forward:
Waterbury Alderman Approve Monies to Secure TIGER!
The city will seek a federal grant to fund the next phase of the Naugatuck River Greenway Project.

Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley (COGCNV) Executive Director and Senior Planner Sam Gold addresses the Alderman Monday. Sam Gold has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for over a decade dating back to the original Kings Mark Waterbury Greenway Study. He and many others are on the verge of seeing their efforts come to life. (Photo: Kevin Zak)


RBA's map and artist rendering of Riverfront Park for what can be Waterbury's and the River Valleys most dramatic attempt to change the mental and physical landscape in over a hundred years.  (Courtesy: RBA Group)

On Monday, the Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed to spend $1,080,000 to pay consulting firm RBA to aggressively apply for a $32 million dollar grant to extend the linear park to Freight Street, the train station and Library Park. Key pieces of the puzzle appear to be in place.
Every town and city within the Naugatuck River corridor can benefit if this grant is secured. As nothing happens in a vacuum the Greenway from Torrington to Derby needs to come together piece by piece. The case to the Federal Government to help with transportation grant money is being heard. This TIGER Grant can used by each Valley town as leverage to make their individual case to connect their town to the town to the north and south. Currently Route 8 and hilly back roads are the only way to navigate the Valley. With a connected Greenway the Valley residents will have a friendly alternative means of transportation for the first time since the horse and buggy. The Greenway will have a neutral environmental imprint. Every journey takes individual steps and this is not an exception. It took 15 years for Middlebury to get their Greenway and many years for the Cheshire Linear Park to get built in separate phases. Public skepticism is understandable but when the first phase of Waterbury's Greenway is put to rest the rest and best will follow. 

Seymour unveils plans for scenic greenway. 
The Preferred Trail Route in the Master Plan for Seymour Greenway & Linear Park. Route 8 runs south (left to right) thru center of drawing with the Tingue Dam Bypass Park in green overlay of Rt 8.  Actual Bypass Channel is highlighted in blue and empties into main stem of river below Rt 8 overpass right of center.  Also pictured are examples of a possible walk bridge that would link the Bypass Park to the new Broad Street Park, spanning the Naugatuck River with stunning views of the Tingue Dam (marked right of center as yellow dotted arrow at the south end of the Bypass).  (Courtesy: Milone & MacBroom) 

The following is a portion of New Haven Register article: Conceptual plans to create a scenic greenway trail along the Naugatuck River were unveiled during this week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. 

Economic Development Director Fred A. Messore has been working with the Cheshire-based firm of Milone & MacBroom, one of the largest firms in the Northeast specializing in civil engineering, planning, landscape architecture and land survey services, in creating the plan. 

The town received a $10,000 state grant in December 2012 to develop a master plan for the greenway. Seymour was one of six towns to be awarded a 2013 Preservation of Place grant, which is geared to enable communities to preserve its natural assets.
To read full New Haven Register story click here.

Approximately 150,000 Gallons of Raw Sewage Directly Enters River in Seymour.
View of Kinneytown Dam, DEEP fish ladder and area of spill above dam. (Photo: World Imagery) 
Sewage leak Seymour 12.2013.773982.jpg
A Seymour resident captured this photo of someone looking at a sewage spill in the Naugatuck River on Wednesday. (Contributed by Steve Cherhoniak) 
This area is rich in wildlife and fish that migrate from the ocean. It is the only open area on the Naugatuck River without a dam leading to the Housatonic River. It is unclear how many days the sewage has been flowing into the River. 

Senator Hartley (D), Senator Crisco (D), Representative Rebimbas (R) and Naugatuck Mayor Mezzo (D) show that we are all connected and the Naugatuck River has no political boundaries. 
We are all winners.

NRG ribbon cutting union city 12-20-13.jpg


Top photo featured left to right:  Borough of Naugatuck Mayor Bob Mezzo, State Senator Joan Hartley, State Senator Joseph Crisco and State Representative Rosa Rebimbas join hands to show that the communities of Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and Waterbury can and will soon be all connected by the Naugatuck River Greenway.
Middle photo: Mrs Mallane cuts the ribbon to 1st Phase of Naugatuck River Greeenway on the Valley's most beautiful foot bridge (Pulaski Foot Bridge) spanning the Naugatuck River. Pictured left to right: Borough Street Superintendent Bob Roland, unknown woman, Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, Former Mayor Mike Bronko, Mrs. Mallane, Mayor Bob Mezzo, Sen. Joan Hartley, Borough Engineer Jim Stewart and Sen. Joseph Crisco.
Bottom photo: State Representative Rosa Rebimbas reminds the crowd in this well attended event of the importance of the Greenway to the quality of life for all Naugatuck residents and all Valley residents. (Photo's: Kevin Zak)

NRG ribbon cutting view from above12-20-13.jpg
(Photo: Kevin Zak)
Today, Dec 20th: Special Ceremony Celebrates Opening of Naugatuck Greenway.
The ceremony took place today , Dec. 20, at 2:30 p.m., on the Pulaski footbridge spanning the Naugatuck River by the Polish-American Club, 199 Bridge St., Naugatuck. 

During the ceremony, a section of the Greenway was named in honor of Union City's own 'Irish' Pat Mallane, who was one of the greatest boxers in the New England area during his career. 

The following text will be inscribed on a plaque that will be placed along the Greenway: 
"This section of the Naugatuck Greenway is dedicated to Union City’s own Pat Mallane (1932 – 2007); a dedicated son, husband and father, and one of the Valley’s greatest boxers. “Irish” Pat Mallane was the Connecticut and New England Lightweight champion and fought the lightweight champion of the world, Patty DeMarco, to a draw in front of a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden. A lifelong resident of Union City, Pat Mallane is remembered by all as a man loyal to his family, friends and community." 
Source: Gary Jeanfalvre Naugatuck Patch To read full Naugatuck Patch article click here.

"It's a Wonderful Life" Last Movie for the Historic Strand Theater in Seymour. A block from the new
$5 million Tingue Dam Bypass Park under construction on the Naugatuck River.
Theater dates back to World War I.
Strand Theater in Seymour, photo by Brian A. Pounds/Ctpost.com
Seymour native Greg Barna looks at the marquee of the Strand Theater at 165 Main Street in downtown Seymour, Conn. on Sunday, December 15, 2013. The theater, which is closing, showed its final film, Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life", on Sunday. Calling the closing "a shame", Barna said he has been going to the theater since he was five years old. 
(Photo: Brian A. Pounds/Ct Post)

"The town will be no longer be managing the theater as of Dec. 31st," said W. Kurt Miller, the first selectman of Seymour. "The costs were outweighing the benefits, and the number of people that we saw were attending the theater was getting smaller and smaller -- and most of those were not even Seymour residents." 
Miller said if the town were to carry on with the movie house, it would have to invest $25,000 to $40,000 for a digital projection system. He also said that the theater's red ink on the books already totals about
"It's hard to justify to the taxpayers the expense of showing movies at the Strand," he said. "And now we're looking at rent increases from the Knights of Columbus, and that was making it even more challenging for us." 
The Board of Selectmen decided to end the Strand arrangement about two months ago, Miller said.To read full story in Ctpost.com click here.

  Naugatuck Joins Growing List: Naugatuck River Greenway Phase 1 Completed!
After several years in the planning the Borough of Naugatuck completed their 1st Phase of the Naugatuck River Greenway in Union City. The top photo below looks to the future in connecting to the Waterbury Greenway, a short 1.1 mile walk up river to Platts Mills Road and over a planned foot bridge to the Kayak and Canoe launch at the Waterybury/Naugatuck line. The Waterbury Greenway Phase 1 ground breaking is scheduled to start in 2015 on Platts Mills Road making the connection to this Naugatuck section extremely close. All doubts and barriers to the making of the complete Naugatuck River Greenway are being removed one by one. If a picture is worth a thousand words then let the pictures begin. Towns on the Naugatuck do not want to be left behind as each drives forward with Greenway plans and ambitions. The following have/will have Greenways/Parks/Access on the Naugatuck River by 2015: Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, Waterbury and Harwinton. Watertown's Steele Brook Greenway has completed the 1st of three phases that will eventually connect as a spur to the Naugatuck River Greenway in Waterbury. Thomaston and Torrington are presently weaving existing walkways to the river. Read more.

Linden Park Greenway completed Fall 2013

Looking East on Pulaski Walk Bridge on the Naugatuck River Greenway Union City
(Photo's: John Monroe/National Park Service)
Looking East on the Pulaski Walk Bridge pictured above is a popular place to view the annual Naugatuck River Kayak and Canoe Race, usually held the Saturday before Mothers Day in May. The river below is a popular spot for Kingfisher's, Great Blue Heron,  Little Green Heron, Beaver, nesting Swallows and much more.

Dreaming Big! 
Coming To A River Near You In 2015?
Waterbury Riverside Park rendering 
Artist Rendering Of Waterbury's Future Riverside Park Just South of Rt84 looking North. The Naugatuck River is featured in the left side of the rendering. This park would be an easy stroll to downtown Waterbury. 
Click here to see more photos/drawings and read more about this in the Waterbury Observer. 
(Rendering courtesy: RBA Group)

Long Time Naugatuck River Ally True Environmental Champion!
RA award to Lynn Werner Environmental Champion of the Year 2013
Lynn Werner, Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Association accepting Environmental Champion Of The Year 2013 award from Eileen Fielding, President of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut. For the full story click here. The Naugatuck River is an important part of the Housatonic Watershed System and also the Housatonic's largest tributary. You can read about Lynn, the Housatonic River and the Naugatuck River in the book by George Black called The Trout Pool Paradox. To Read more about Lynn click here.
(Photo: Richard Sears)

TIGER Spotted On Naugatuck River!
Excitement And Strong Case Made In The Waterbury Aldermanic Chambers (12/9/13): City of Waterbury likely to seek $33,000,000 dollar TIGER Grant! The Naugatuck River, the Waterbury Greenway and Waterbury's future was at the heart of the argument.

As if making an eloquent argument in front of the State Supreme Court, Jackson Wandres of the RBA GroupGreenway Project Manager Sal Porzio and State Senator Joan Hartley made their case for a $33 million TIGER Grant that could put the Waterbury Greenway light years ahead of its time. "Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) is a supplementary discretionary grant program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation provides money for a National Surface Transportation System, to be awarded on a competitive basis for capital investments in surface transportation projects".∗

The application needs to be filed by June 3rd. Funds would need to be obligated before Oct. 1, 2014. If granted the first shovel could be in the ground by 2015. Minimum TIGER grants are for $10 million and up to $200 million. 

Pieces of the puzzle appear to be in place. RBA, the firm hired to design the Waterbury Greenway, believes they will meet the requirements and make a strong case by the dead line. "The U.S. government designed TIGER grants in order to incentivize bettering environmental problems ... On the economic front, the United States hopes infrastructure investment will encourage job creation, a pressing political priority; this would likely require the project to be shovel ready."∗  Connecticut cities like Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport have received Tiger Grants in the past. According to the presenters last evening, Waterbury is the only major city in the State that has not received a TIGER Grant. If awarded the Naugatuck River Greenway Phase 2 (approximately 2 miles) would be added to the State run Phase 1 (2.5 miles from Platts Mills to Eagle Street). Making a total of 4.5 miles of the 7.1 miles of river that runs through Waterbury. The idea: If not here, where? If not now, when? and If not us, who? was in full force last night.

Joan Hartley said: "Rhode Island, Middlebury, Cheshire and many other communities all have Greenways. We are at the point, we are poised to have our own Greenway. We have the River and we are ready to use that." And then with eyes to the future challenged each other to a race upon the opening of Waterbury's Greenway. 
Joan Hartley addresses Waterbury Alderman.jpg
Senator Joan Hartley speaking in support of an effort to secure a $33 million TIGER Grant. In attendance: Mayor Neil O'Leary, Executive Director of COGCNV Sam Gold, Greenway Advisory Committee (GAC) Chair Ron Napoli. Waterbury Grant Writer Kathleen MacNamara, GAC member Cathy Smith, Executive Director of the Waterbury Development Corp Kevin DelGobbo,  Executive Director of the Greater Waterbury YMCA Jim O'Rourke
(Photo: Kevin Zak)

This grant comes with a $6.7 million price tag (20% of the $33.7 construction cost of phase 2) to the City of Waterbury. They will have to decide soon if they think the Greenway and $27 million in Federal DOT money is worth it. 

Throughout the whole Naugatuck River Valley the pubic and its policy makers are turning to the River to answer the question: How to increase the quality of life in their communities? One simple fact to remember is the Naugatuck River is already here. You do not have to build it. In Waterbury's case: The River does run through It.
 ∗Source of TIGER info: Wikipedia.

If You Build It They Will Come!
A NOAA Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Project Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Tingue Dam Bypass Channel Project Summary

Unaware of what is about to occur these migrating fish attempt in vain to get over the 18 foot Tingue Dam in Seymour this past Summer. 
Complete fish migration and its environmental benefits were chocked off in 1763 with the building of this Dam. If these fish survive the winter they will get another chance to follow their ancestors migratory path. They are just feet away from the present construction of a fish bypass channel on schedule to be completed in 2014. This Tingue (Pronounced: Tin-U) Dam Bypass Channel will quickly become a jewel in the Northeast and an example to our youngest members of our society that nothing is impossible. 
(Photos: Kevin Zak)

River's Alliance Unveils State Wide Comprehensive Paddling Guide To Many Of Connecticuts 6,000 Miles Of Flowing Waters Including The Naugatuck River!  
Where Can I Paddle In Connecticut? 
Unveiled at the River's Alliance (RA) annual meeting at the law firm Robinson & Cole in Hartford on Dec. 4th. This Connecticut Water Trails Link features links to organizations throughout the state. If your favorite put-in/take-out is not listed yet, email rivers@riveralliance.org. RA also encourages the public to have paddling trips, group meetings listed on their  CT Water Trails Events page. For details about paddling the Naugatuck River click here.

Tingue Dam Bypass Steamrolls Along.
Tingue Dam Bypass early contruction8/20/13.jpg

 Dec 4th 2013 Bypass Construction

Construction of the Tingue Dam Bypass continues thru December. (Photo: Kevin Zak)
The Bypass is one of the few of its kind in the country and will help right the wrong this Dam created. It will bring benefits as well as an unmeasurable quality of life to all Valley residents.  A project that was stuck in the mud and bed rock of bureaucracy for over 10 years is now a reality. The bypass is the brain child of Jim MacBroom (Milone & MacBroom, Inc of Cheshire) and shepherded by many but none more than Stephen Gephard, Supervising fisheries biologist with Connecticut DEEP. With its completion in 2014 quality of life will rise for all wildlife from Snails to Mink and Eagles to Hummingbirds.
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Photo's were taken from the beautiful new Broad Street Park in Seymour dedicated to our Veterans. Top picture is early days of construction (August 20th). Middle picture is one month later. Picture bottom is Dec 4th. RT8 shadows Dam in all photo's.

Ride The Rails Along The Naugatuck River With Santa. 
You can find Santa and Mrs. Claus taking a break every weekend from November 30 through December 22 aboard the Santa Express, a restored 1920s vintage train from the New England Railroad Museum in Thomaston.... Santa doesn’t forget his young admirers. He brings along a bag of gifts for small passengers. For tickets and information click here . This is a special outing for train buffs, the only rail ride in North America that crosses the face of a dam and the view from Thomaston Dam is spectacular. The 80-minute ride from the historic 1881 Thomaston Station also hugs the edge of the Naugatuck River, and passes through lovely state forest lands. 
Explore the the Northern Lights Limited in the following video:
If you don't have the time to watch the whole 8 and 1/2 minute video start 6 minutes in. The beauty will speak for itself. A hidden gem along the Naugatuck river. (Courtesy: Alex N.)
Santa's Express making a stop at his work shop
 Santa's Work Shop and Santa Express in Thomaston.
(Photo Courtesy of:  Railroad Museum of New England, Inc.)

Seymour, A Walker's Paradise.
... the small town of Seymour, where antique shops lace the streets that hug the corners of the Naugatuck River. It's a "walker's paradise," thanks to a compact downtown equipped with wide sidewalks. It was the only town in all of southwestern Connecticut to earn a score greater than 90, earning the distinction of a "walker's paradise." Read more.
Bernice Kasowitz, left, of West Haven and Kristen Mcweeney of New Haven go for a stroll along Bank Street in downtown Seymour, Conn. on Sunday, November 3, 2013. (Photo: Brian A. Pounds/ Connecticut Post) 

Iconic building on the Naugatuck River comes down.
Built directly on the Naugatuck River as a dike stood the Plume & Atwood Company. Once a a paradox of economic security for 400 valley residents and a player in the polluting of the Naugatuck River is gone.
Plume & Atwood demo
The main building at Plume & Atwood off East Main Street in Thomaston was declared unsound and was razed Friday by Winsted-based Mountaintop Trucking. It is the second building in six months to be demolished at the 10-acre complex, once a thriving manufacturing center where 400 people worked. (Photo: Alec Johnson/ Republican-American)

Access to High Rock State Park in the Naugatuck State Forest a reality. 
 High Rock State Forest Ribbon Cutting Nov. 13, 2013
Ribbon cutting on the banks of the Naugatuck River along the Beacon Falls/Naugatuck line. Officials celebrate the re-opening of the High Rock State Park passage. With this opening the Naugatuck River Greenway moves one step closer to being connected from Torrington to Derby. Read more.
From left, Naugatuck Mayor Robert Mezzo, Beacon Falls First Selectman Christopher Bielik, Executive Director of the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley Sam Gold, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Susan Whalen, former First Selectman Gerard Smith, State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70), State Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-105), State Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-17) and Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker cut the ribbon to officially reopen Cold Spring Road in Beacon Falls Nov. 13. The road, which is the only access point to High Rock State Park in Beacon Falls, has been closed since May 2012. 
(Photo: LUKE MARSHALL, Citizen's News/Waterbury Rep-Am)

A Strange Beginning, But A Great Middle And End On Waterbury's Hancock Brook Trail. 
But then I saw it. An ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan.  The trail along the brook is stunning —a forest filled with hemlocks, mountain laurel and huge boulders and jagged cliffs and outcroppings ... 
Hancock Brook Waterbury 
View from Hancock Brook (a tributary to the Naugatuck River) along the Blue Trail in Waterbury.
(Photo: Kevin Zak)

Nesting Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles on the Rise in Connecticut.
The following is a photo of a young Peregrine Falcon along the Naugatuck River. 
This baby is featured in a new film Welcome To The New Age With The NAUGATUCK RIVER Revival Group. Parts of this 30 minute documentary show the drama of this baby's life up to fledgling, including falling into the river.  There are only 7 known nests in Connecticut. Only 3 nest are known to be in New Haven County.
Peregrine baby
First day out of the Nest. Though still obviously a baby, this five-week old 
falcon is beginning to show signs of the bird it will become.
(Photo: Kevin Zak)

Stocking Continues! 
Several weeks ago the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) began the 2013 autumn stockings of Atlantic salmon by stocking 600 Atlantic salmon into the Shetucket River (200 fish), Crystal Lake (100 fish), upper Naugatuck river (100 fish), lower Naugatuck river (100 fish) and Mount Tom Pond (100 fish). Most of these Atlantic salmon range in weight from 2-to-6 pounds each. Read more.
Fly Fisher pauses to watch beaver pass by.
 Female beaver swims by Fly Fisher. Platts Mills section of Naugatuck River.
(Photo: Kevin Zak)

Stocking of Trout will be completed this week.  
5,500 rainbow trout are stocked into 15 lakes and ponds in Eastern Connecticut. ... Stocking in Western CT is complete. ... Good reports from the Naugatuck River and Housatonic River. Read more. 
Trout Stock along Platts Mills Rd. Naugatuck
DEEP Stocks Trout in Naugatuck River.
(Photo Courtesy: Naugatuck River Revival Group)

Watertown's Steele Brook Greenway is now open for business.
Phase 1 Ribbon Cutting took place Oct. 9th: Click here for map location.
Watertowns Phase 1 of their 3 Phase Greenway project opened for business Oct. 9th
Phase one of a three phase plan is completed. Pictured in the ribbon cutting are; Rob Kane, State Senator; Ray Primini,Town Council Chairman: Chuck Frigon, Town Manager; Carl Siemon, President Siemon Co.; Tom Siemon, VP Engineering Siemon Co.;Chuck Berger Town Engineer; Roy Cavanaugh, Director of Public Works.
(Photo: Kevin Zak)

Fly Fishing the Naugatuck River: 
Boy Scouts learn to Fly Fish in the Naugatuck River, Photo by Kevin Zak 2011
Boy Scouts learning to fly fish on hot Friday afternoon in the Naugatuck River.
(Photo: Kevin Zak) 
Golden Eagle!
Spotted  only 9 miles from the Naugatuck River in Burlington. Reported on CT BIRDS list yesterday (9/25/13): " A single golden eagle giving an alarm call, flew over (my) house, last heard complaining and being chased by crows in the area behind the library. 2:50pm." Keep your eyes to the skies, One was spotted flying 50 feet over the Naugatuck River Waterbury/Naugatuck line  heading south on January 28, 2013.
Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle ( Wikimedia.org)

With the recent Salmon stocking consider reinvesting in our wildlife on the Naugatuck River. 
Please invest 8 minutes of your time to watch the following video before heading to the river. 

Stay informed: 
To understand the Naugatuck River, Rivers Alliance of CT helps us to: 

Find the Naugatuck River on the map and click on the graphic dot to see the flow in real time in Thomaston or Beacon Falls.
Interactive Map of CT river flows
Click here to see real-time flow of the Naugatuck River atThomaston Dam or Beacon Falls

Salmon Stocked in the Naugatuck this week.
What is all the fuss about? 
Jeff Yates with Atlantic Salmon on Naugatuck River

 Fishing guide Jeff Yates with Atlantic Salmon on the Naugatuck River.
(Photo: Courtesy Jeff Yates)

Take a journey from Torrington to Derby's O'Sullivan's Island Park:

Children and Lawn Pesticides:
Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and Dr.Jerry Silbert, M.D.
at the Ansonia Nature Center
Special Presentation: Children and Lawn Pesticides Don’t Mix
On Friday, Sep. 20th at 7 pm, Jerry Silbert, M.D. gave a powerful presentation at the Ansonia Nature Center titled "Children and Lawn Pesticides Don’t Mix." This was especially of interest to people in Naugatuck River Valley who asked tough and probing questions of where we are today with pesticides and what can be done to keep our children safe.

Life Under the Mix Master on the Naugatuck River:
Cedar Waxwings under the Mix Master along the Naugatuck River in Waterbury
Cedar Waxwing along the Naugatuck River, under the Mix Master in Waterbury, Ct.
(Photo by NRRG)

Moose spotted near Naugatuck River.
A moose was seen in Thomaston. It is estimated that 100-150 moose live in CT.
(Photo courtesy CT DEEP)
The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has confirmed that a moose has been sighted several times in the Thomaston area, While this is an incredible testament to the river's consistently rebounding health, drivers are urged to keep an eye out for the moose and use extreme caution as moose-vehicle collisions are often fatal. For more information click here.

Explore the Naugatuck! was a cycling event to raise awareness of the 
Naugatuck River Greenway.
Cyclists complete the final leg of the day's journey along the Derby Greenway.
(Photo courtesy of City of Derby)

Explore the Naugatuck! Cycling Event was a grand-slam success on September 23rd. On a perfectly beautiful fall day, the peloton of 40 cheerful cyclists safely rode 56 miles from Torrington to Derby, stopping for 20- to 30-minute press events in 11 towns and cities and a Corps of Engineers Dam and Recreation Area.  
NPS Explore the Naugatuck! Event Press Release


Gold Sponsors

ion Bank

Connecticut Community Foundation

Silver Sponsors

Union Savings Bank

Wesson Energy, INC

The United Illuminating Company

Friends of Naugatuck 

Bronze Sponsors

The Platt Brothers and Company

Thomaston Savings Bank

Valley Community Foundation