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Friday, May 20, 2011

Grants Awarded for benefit of Quinnipiac River

NEW HAVEN  – The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is pleased to announce that $112,000 has been awarded from the Quinnipiac River Fund to 12 organizations for programs that reduce river pollution, support the environment and educate the public about the Quinnipiac River.  The River flows from west of New Britain southward to Plainville, Southington, west of Meriden, Cheshire, through Wallingford, Yalesville, North Haven and into New Haven Harbor.
Among the grant recipients is Catalyst Collaborative who has been hired to create a comprehensive Quinnipiac River website. The site will provide a consolidated source for Quinnipiac River information, resources, research, and advocacy, specifically related to the work and impact of the Quinnipiac River Fund.  The website will feature high-impact design/photography, a grant project database, an interactive map, calendar, and blog – together providing a multi-faceted resource for organizations and individuals working to better the conditions of the Quinnipiac River. The site is expected to launch by the end of 2011.  
Another grant recipient, Audubon Connecticut, will use its funding to raise awareness in the community about ways to reduce sources of pollution and to improve habitat for birds and other wildlife within the Quinnipiac River Watershed.
 "We are honored to receive this grant award from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's Quinnipiac River Fund, and look forward to strengthening our partnerships and efforts in the Quinnipiac River Watershed," said Tom Baptist, Audubon Connecticut Executive Director.  "Through legislative forums in New Haven and Wallingford, an environmental film series with local panelists at Yale Peabody Museum, and outreach about everyday actions people can take to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, we will grow the number of bird and wildlife supporters engaged in conservation and advocacy on behalf of the watershed. This program will build on the very effective outreach initiatives carried out by our partnering organizations, and add a uniquely Audubon component: Making the reciprocal connection between our personal actions, the health of the watershed, and the birds and other wildlife we all enjoy and cherish."

The Quinnipiac River Fund was established in 1990 as a result of a court settlement between the National Resources Defense Council, Connecticut Fund for the Environment and the Upjohn Corporation concerning wastewater discharges by the Upjohn Chemical Company of North Haven CT into the Quinnipiac River. A fine of $1 million was levied on Upjohn for continually exceeding its permitted industrial releases into the Quinnipiac River and used to create the Quinnipiac River Fund, administered by The Community Foundation. The Quinnipiac River Fund distributes grants each year to improve the environmental quality of the Quinnipiac River and New Haven Harbor and the watersheds of those waterbodies, and otherwise benefit the environment of those resources.

The Quinnipiac River Fund is advised by a committee that meets once a year to make recommendations for funding to The Community Foundation. Members include:  Nancy Alderman, President of Environment and Human Health, Gordon Geballe, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Margaret Miner, Director of Rivers Alliance
2011 Grant recipients of the Quinnipiac River Fund include:
Audubon Connecticut: $10,000 - To raise awareness among legislators, homeowners, and the general public about ways to reduce both non-point and point sources of pollution and to improve habitat for birds and other wildlife within the Quinnipiac River Watershed.
Catalyst Collaborative $15,000 – To create a multi-faceted web-based resource of information about the Quinnipiac River.
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice: $5,000 - To continue to educate fishers on safe consumption of fish by volunteers, bilingual safe fishing signage posted at river locales and by building grassroots support for a new state ban on lead fishing weights in the interest of fishers' and wildlife well-being.
Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA): $11,000 - To support a four-day Leadership Training Course to deepen the network of trained land use commissioners whose decisions have a direct impact on Quinnipiac River water quality.
North Haven Trail Association: $3,000 - To support consultant/professional work required to support the definition and granting of land easements from private property owners along the river where the intended route of the trail is located.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut Inc.: $6,000 - To support the continuation of homeowner workshops which will initiate educational outreach on organic land care to inland/wetland and conservation commissions, including installation and assisting in the development and related outreach of an online turf forum geared towards Connecticut school groundskeepers.
Quinnipiac River Watershed Association: $16,000 - To support the Quinnipiac Urban River Stewardship project, which will install several river stewardship signs in prominent locations to promote human links to this urban river and foster stewardship of the shared resource, as recommended in the watershed management plan for a similar urban river, the North Branch of the Park River in Hartford/Bloomfield.
Quinnipiac University: $5,000 - To support surveying for phthalate plasticizers in an effort to characterize potential contamination of the Quinnipiac River by municipal and industrial sources.
Schooner Inc.: $5,000 - To support the New Haven Harbor Data Project which will create and maintain an online catalog of data about New Haven Harbor and will be accessible on Schooner's website.
University of New Haven, Department of Biology: $10,000 - To support the Biodiversity and Impacts of Drift Algae in the New Haven Harbor study, which will continue to assess habitat structure and species diversity in New Haven Harbor,  and to investigate the dynamics and potential impacts of extensive drift algal mats that have been found in portions of the harbor.
The Watershed Partnership Inc.: $16,000 - To support the Safe Grounds Campaign which helps reduce non-point source pollution from lawn pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in the Quinnipiac River watershed.
Yale University - Grant & Contract Administration: $10,000 - To support the continuation of investigations into the causes and implications of marsh drowning in the Quinnipiac River.

For more information about The Community Foundation visit
www.cfgnh.org.


Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here.

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