To garner continued support of watershed planning and conservation, a watershed based plan containing the "Nine Elements of Watershed Planning" recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency has been developed for the Norwalk River Watershed.

The draft plan will be available for public review and comment through June 6.

The adoption and approval of the watershed plan by the Connecticut DEP will aid in securing necessary funding to implement recommendations of the plan. The goal of this plan is to identify recommendations that can be implemented on a short- to long-term basis, which will maintain and enhance water quality in the Norwalk River and tributaries.

A public information session will be held May 25, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Oyster Hall of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; located at 10 N. Water St., Norwalk.

The Norwalk River watershed is a regional basin in the southwestern portion of Connecticut and is approximately 64 square miles in size. The watershed comprises approximately 40,000 acres of drainage area, extending into six municipalities in Connecticut: New Canaan, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, and Wilton; and Lewisboro, New York.

In 1998, stakeholders came together to create the Norwalk River Watershed Action Plan. The plan represented a watershed community with a common interest in restoring and protecting the river, and was one of the earliest community-driven, locally-led initiatives in the U.S. to restore and protect the watershed resources. A number of watershed groups have remained active in the watershed working together to improve water quality.

In 2004, the plan was updated. The 2004 update to the Norwalk River Watershed Action Plan serves as the active plan to guide conservation activities in the watershed. The development of a Watershed Based Plan will serve to reassess the 2004 update to the Norwalk River Watershed Action Plan and enhance the recommended actions through the inclusion of measurable goals, milestones, evaluation criteria and identification of potential funding strategies in order to accelerate the implementation of pollution control programs.

More Information

Fact box

The plan will be available for review on the SWRPA website, www.swrpa.org, the Norwalk River Watershed Association and municipal websites, at the main branch of the local libraries in the watershed and at the SWRPA office from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

All comments must be received in writing by June 6 and may be submitted electronically to davis@swrpa.org or mailed to the attention of Nicole Davis, Regional Planner, SWRPA at 888 Washington Boulevard -- 3rd Floor, Stamford, CT 06901. Call 203-316-5190.

For further information about the Draft TIP, visit www.swrpa.org or contact Davis at 203-316-5190.