by Lynne Bonnett, New Haven Bioregional Group
It’s been five years since we presented our first Bringing in the Rain session at the Mitchell Library to talk about stormwater runoff, combined sewer overflows and what citizens can do to help clean up our rivers and harbor.
Citizens with their local political representatives convinced CT’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to adopt a watershed-based approach to cleaning up the West River and New Haven Harbor. The City of New Haven, Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority (GNHWPCA), CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), nonprofits and citizen groups have each had a role to play in helping us meet clean water standards in a cost-effective way, saving us money from expensive construction costs while cleaning our waters.
The challenges of reducing raw sewage overflows into the West River and reducing pollution from stormwater runoff are outlined in a West River Watershed Plan. The community has been implementing the plan for the last 3-4 years and we have accomplished a lot.
Come celebrate our efforts Tuesday, March 20, 6-8 p.m. and engage in residential stormwater management—learn how you can get involved. We will have a rain barrel on display with a sign-up sheet if you are interested in getting one for your home, presentations about rain gardens—the easiest and most attractive way to let rain water soak into the ground, and presentations from local schools, researchers and GNHWPCA. Light refreshments, family-friendly, we will start by showing a short film segment from Water Blues, Green Solutions about how community efforts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, helped reduce pollution from stormwater runoff in their community.
Barnard Nature Center at West River Memorial Park, 200 Derby Ave. (corner of Ella Grasso Blvd,), New Haven.