A Cautionary Remark on High Flows

Recent tragedies remind us all that the present high flows in the river demand respect.  Before planning an outing at this time, check the river flows.  At this time (mid June after heavy rain), many places are safe only for experts, or simply unsafe.  Links to Farmington River flows at various spots is available at:  http://frwa.org/river-info/river-flows-forecasts/

At any time, what a particular flow level means for YOUR safety depends on many factors.   There is no flow level at which river recreation is guaranteed safe for everyone.  In addition to flow, consider local conditions (such as downed trees, rocks, steep banks, etc.), weather, and your own level of experience and fitness before going in the river.  Use the right equipment, such as life jackets and helmets.  Comments on the flow level’s degree of hazard may be found at http://www.mainstreamcanoe.com/thisRiver.asp?LocationID=2 or (for Tariffville) http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/443

An online safety course for paddlers is available at:  http://www.boaterexam.com/paddling/default.aspx


FRWA Wins 2013 Environmental Champion Award

On June 8, FRWA was named a 2013 Environmental Champion (Non-Profit category) by the Aquarion Water Company.  The award, which comes with a $2,500 prize, was presented on June 8, at Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, by CT DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty.  Also present to recognize the awardees were Aquarion’s President, Chuck Firlotte, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Representative Elizabeth Esty.

FRWA won out over other strong non-profit candidates because of our sustained team effort to remove Spoonville Dam.  It was described as a success story that illustrates perfectly how FRWA works: by coordinating the support of many, to bring about river restoration that benefits all.  We thank you, and all the partners and supporters who helped FRWA earn this prominent recognition!  See details at http://www.aquarion.com/CT.cfm/section/2013Awards/page/2013AwardWinners

FRWA 60th Anniversary Celebration

Join us at FRWA”s celebration of our 60th year!

Join us at Ski Sundown in New 60thflyerHartford for a swim down memory lane on September 22nd, 2013 from 3 – 8pm at Ski Sundown, New Hartford.

FRWA is hosting a party that will bring together new friends and old to reminisce about our 60-year history. We will have a light program outlining our accomplishments of the past 60 years. Displays, both static and digital, of our 60-year history can be browsed while listening to music from several bands. A BBQ dinner from the Meat House in Avon with snack and refreshments from Blue Sky foods. Cash Bar. RSVP by emailing Aimee, sending a check for $25 per person to FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070 or by registering online here at the eventbright widget below.

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MDC Proposal to Provide Drinking Water to Mansfield

There is a MDC proposal to provide Farmington River water to the University of Connecticut and the Town of Mansfield.  You can learn more about this proposal here:  http://frwa.org/what-we-do/advocacy/action-alerts/mdc-uconn-proposal/

Dear Farmington River Friends,

This document is to answer any questions you may have about the current position of FRWA regarding a proposal by the Metropolitan District Commission to supply Farmington River water to the University of Connecticut. We thank you for your interest, and invite you to contact us if any further clarification is needed.

UConn has extended its comment period to January 31st on this issue and will be hosting a public hearing on this proposal in the Farmington Valley on January 22 at 7 pm in the Human Resources Training Room at the UConn Health Center’s Munson Building, 16 Munson Road, Farmington.

Eileen Fielding
Executive Director

FRWA Prevented from Commenting on MDC Proposal

Attorneys for the MDC have drawn FRWA’s attention to an agreement that was signed in 1998 to settle the controversy that arose from an earlier MDC attempt to divert water from the Farmington River. The MDC maintains that the agreement forbids FRWA’s advocacy in connection with the current controversy regarding a proposed diversion of millions of gallons to service UConn and its environs.

Given the MDC’s position, FRWA has decided to refrain from advocacy in this matter at this point.

FRWA and its legal counsel have met with MDC and its attorneys to discuss the 1998 agreement and its legal and practical implications.

Accordingly, FRWA withdraws any comments it made before MDC’s attorneys demanded that it cease and desist. The more than four hundred signatures placed on its petition in the few days that it was open will not be delivered. FRWA expresses no official opinion at this point about the MDC proposal.

FRWA will continue to post links to informative published information on its website. Another river-oriented group that might be helpful to interested persons is Rivers Alliance, whose website is www.riversalliance.org. Rivers Alliance is completely independent of FRWA.

Individual FRWA members and other concerned citizens may wish to voice their opinions and to petition their government leaders.

Among the possible recipients of comments are:
daniel.esty@ct.gov [Mr. Esty heads the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection]
kevin.witkos@cga.ct.gov [Mr. Witkos is the state senator for part of the Farmington Valley]  and other town and state officials and news outlets

Below, “Comments are closed” means that you cannot comment on FRWA’s blog.  You can however comment to jason.coite@uconn.edu until January 31

Saville Dam & Old Barkhamsted Hollow Tour: October 27, 2012


Current FRWA members $5; non-members $10

Join us for a tour deep inside the bowels of the Saville Dam followed by a trek to some of the old Barkhamsted foundations spared inundation as the Barkhamsted Reservoir filled. The history and preservation of our watershed is intertwined with the story of the Metropolitan District and the pursuit of clean drinking water for Greater Hartford.

The MDC will guide us through the earthen embankment dam that impounds the 30 billion gallon Barkhamsted reservoir providing drinking water for Greater Hartford. Erik Landgraf will lead us around the relics of old Barkhamsted Hollow, a village mostly flooded by the creation of the Barkhamsted Reservoir in 1940. Structures that were not flooded were torn down or moved by the water company, but not without a trace. Trace history in your watershed!

Pre-registration is required, space is limited, contact FRWA at (860) 658-4442, or email: river@frwa.org to register. Tour begins at 10:00 am, dress for the weather, wear footwear to walk in the woods, pack a lunch and water.

FRWA’s Annual Meeting: November 8th, 2012, 6pm to 9 pm

FRWA’s Annual Meeting
November 8th, 2012, 6pm to 9 pm
Tunxis Plantation Golf Course
Tavern on the Green

This year our Keynote Speaker is Andrew Fisk of the Connecticut River Watershed Council with a talk on the Connecticut River and its Designation as our Nation's first Blueway.  In addition, we will highlight our achievements for the year, have a lively and diverse silent auction and leave plenty of time for socializing and merriment.

Check your mailbox in early October for our Annual Meeting invitation. Tickets are $40 for current members and $50 for non-members or email your RSVP directly to Aimee to apetras 'at' frwa.org.

Streambugs & Pond Critters: September 22, 2012, 10am – noon

Explore the fascinating life of Walton Pond and Poplar Swamp Brook with the Farmington River Watershed Association. Spend the morning pond-side and wading in the brook to observe, identify, and marvel at the life histories and ecology of insects and other invertebrates that inhabit still and flowing waters. Learn how and why we use aquatic insects in the FRWA biomonitoring program to monitor water quality throughout the Watershed.

Program open to all ages, children must be accompanied by adult. Rain or shine, dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear to wade into the water (water shoes, old sneakers, or waders).  Advance registration is required.  Please contact FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email river@frwa.org to register.

Stream bugs & Pond Critters: September 22, 2012, 10 am to noon, Winding Trails

UPDATED: FRWA Raffles a Guild Guitar!

FRWA Raffles Guild D-40 Guitar

We have a winner in our guitar raffle!  At the raffle drawing, held Nov. 15 at 6 PM at the FRWA office, the winning ticket belonged to Chuck Bird of Burlington, CT.  Congratulations to Chuck and our sincere thanks to all who participated in the raffle! Chuck and his friend Paul Willis are active in Friends of Sessions Woods– and may actually use the guitar in a second fundraiser for their own conservation organization!  Will keep you posted…

Last year we had so much fun and the response was so enthusiastic that we decided to do it again!  This time, the Grand Prize guitar is a Guild D-40 Bluegrass Jubilee in Natural with Case, built in New Hartford, Connecticut by Guild Guitars (guildguitars.com).  It has a list value of $3,199.99 .  Notable playtors.com guitarists who played a Guild D-40 include Richie Havens (during Woodstock and beyond) and Pat Metheny.

Like last year, a very limited number of tickets have been printed so your chances are good!  Tickets are $20 each and all proceeds go to support FRWA’s programs.  Drawing will take place on November 15, 6pm at the Simsbury Free Library.  Winner need not be present to win.  Act now to get a chance to own a guitar played by the very best!

Contact us at the FRWA office for tickets: (860) 658-4442 ext “0”.