May 24, 2022

Grant Award to The Nature Conservancy to Help Fund Essex Fish Passage Project

The Nature Conservancy announced an $85,000 grant award from Long Island Sound Futures Fund that will support important fish passage and river connectivity work in Connecticut and on Long Island, including the Tiley-Pratt dam on the Falls River in Essex.

The award will support work at three priority dams. In Connecticut, the dams are the Coleytown dam on the Aspetuck River in Westport and the Tiley-Pratt dam on the Falls River in Essex. In New York, the dam is on Beaver Brook in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

A fish ladder will be constructed at each of the two Connecticut dams. Work could start as early as summer 2014. The dam in Oyster Bay will undergo a feasibility and design alternatives study to determine the best design for fish passage.

“This work will open up more than five miles of critical freshwater spawning habitat for alewife and blueback herring, two species whose populations are in a serious state of decline, and we are hopeful that additional future projects upstream of these dams will allow even more miles of stream to be opened to improve river health,” said Sally Harold, director of migratory fish projects for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “The Nature Conservancy is extremely grateful for support from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund and the many other partners who are making this work possible.”

This grant was among 23 awarded totaling almost $1.3 million that were announced today in Norwalk, Conn. Top federal and state environmental officials joined the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Long Island Sound Study to announce the grants, which were awarded to local government and community groups in Connecticut and New York under the Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

The grants are for projects that improve water quality, restore habitat, enhance living resources, and educate and involve the public with the ultimate goal of protecting and restoring the Long Island Sound.

This public-private grant program pools funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and corporate partners.

The Conservancy’s grant requires a match of almost $60,000, which will be secured through donor support and in-kind contributions.