A New Vision for the Naugatuck:
Turn And Face The River
In February 2011, the Naugatuck River Steering Committee, organized by Rivers Alliance and Connecticut Community Foundation, hosted the Naugatuck River Forum. The highly successful forum sought to celebrate the river’s revival and position the river as a catalyst for economic growth and recreational opportunities in all eleven river towns from Torrington to Derby.  More than 140 participants from the river municipalities, environmental organizations, councils of governments, developers, economic development entities, and state and federal agencies came together to discuss opportunities to align environmental preservation and sustainable economic development along the river corridor.  Connecticut Commissioner for Energy and Environmental Protection, Daniel Esty served as the key note speaker.

Panelists at the 2011 Naugatuck River Forum. 
Photo Courtesy of John Murray, Waterbury Observer

The 2011 Naugatuck River Forum Steering Committee represented a partnership dedicated to establishing a coordinated effort among the municipalities and river organizations to promote the river as a valuable community resource both for economic development and recreation.  Through promotion of this coordinated effort, the Committee sought to support the completion of river restoration efforts related to water quality improvements and habitat renewal, in order to return the river to a more natural state and to develop recreational opportunities for the public along the river.

Forum Steering Committee Members

Kim Barbieri
Chuck Berger
Ann Burton
Rick Dunne
Diane Edwards
Sam Gold*
Bob Gregorski*
Rose Guimaraes
Don Kimber*
Ingrid Manning*
Maura Martin
Virginia Mason
Kathy McNamara
Robert Mezzo

Margaret Miner
John Monroe
John Murray
Susan Peterson
Kevin Zak
Laura Wildman
Kevin Zak* **

City of Torrington
Town of Watertown
Connecticut Community Foundation
Valley Council of Governments
Rivers Alliance
Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley
Naugatuck River Watershed Association; Trout Unlimited

Rivers Alliance
Connecticut Community Foundation
Connecticut Community Foundation

Thomaston Greenway Committee
Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley
City of Waterbury
Borough of Naugatuck
Rivers Alliance
National Park Service
Waterbury Greenway Committee; Waterbury Observer
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
Housatonic Valley Association              
Princeton Hydro
Naugatuck River Revival Group: River Videographer 

*Website Subcommittee Member
** Website Editor

Through the process of identifying priorities for the river corridor, the Naugatuck River Steering Committee and forum participants identified the establishment of a Naugatuck River website as a priority to create a ‘brand’ for the river corridor.  The website serves as a clearinghouse for activities, projects information along the river, and serve as a link between the eleven river corridor municipalities and the various organizations working to promote the restoration and use of the river.  This website is the realization of that vision.

Five members of the Forum Steering Committee served on the Subcommittee, which
worked together to outline the design and the core content to be included in the new website.   Subcommittee members included Sam Gold (COGCNV), Bob Gregorski (TU; NRWA), Don Kimber (CCF), Ingrid Manning (CCF), and Kevin Zak (NRRG). The time and effort spent by the Website Subcommittee was critical to developing  this project as the first step in branding the Naugatuck  River Valley. 

Website Subcommittee members also worked with the Connecticut Community Foundation to secure generous sponsorships from Naugatuck Savings Bank, Connecticut Community Foundation, United Illuminating, Union Savings Bank, Wesson Energy, Friends of the Naugatuck River, Platt Brothers, Thomaston Savings Bank, and Valley Community Foundation.  These sponsorships provided the funding needed to support the website's design, development, and management.   Pomfret  Technologies was subsequently contracted by CCF to develop the website framework and design, and the Housatonic Valley Association (a member of the 2011 Forum Steering Committee), was contracted to develop and edit content for the website, and to manage the site for a two-year period. 

Additional Acknowledgements

Many individuals have contributed to the creation and development of this website.  Along with the members of the Forum Steering Committee's Website Subcommittee (Sam Gold, Bob Gregorski, Don Kimber, Ingrid Manning, and Kevin Zak) and website editors (Current: Michael Jastremski and Kevin Zak, Former: Meghan Ruta, Angela Rice), the following individuals assisted with the development of content for this website: Judy Augusta (Healthy Valley), Josh Carey (CCF), Brian Curtis (Pomfret Computer Technologies), Rick Dunne (VCOG),, Sondra Harman (NRRG), Michael A Krenesky, Eileen Krugel (City of Ansonia), Kurt Miller (Town of Seymour), Don Mysling (DEEP), Sheila O'Malley (City of Derby), Glenda Prentiss (COGCNV), Ron Skurat (Seymour Land Trust, HVA), and Jack Walsh (Valley United Way). Without their support the website editors would not have been able to compile all of the wonderful information and photographs included in the site. 

Special thanks to our sponsors:
Naugatuck Savings Bank, Connecticut Community Foundation
Union Savings Bank, Wesson Energy, Inc., The United Illumination Company, Friends of Naugatuck River
The Platt Brothers & Company, Thomaston Savings Bank, Valley Community Foundation