June 27, 2022

Nature Conservancy’s CT River Conservation Work is N. American RiverPrize Finalist

Aerial view of the Connecticut River.

Aerial view of the Connecticut River.

AREAWIDE — The International RiverFoundation recently recognized conservation work on the Connecticut River by selecting it as one of just four finalists for the Foundation’s “North American RiverPrize.”

The winner will be selected on May 2, following a presentation of achievements from each finalist at the River Rally 2015 in New Mexico.

The River Foundation heralded a 10-year collaborative partnership at the Connecticut River and specifically cited work with which The Nature Conservancy Connecticut River Program has been deeply involved.

Information published on the International River Foundation’s website regarding the Connecticut River’s submission states,

“As the largest river in New England, the Connecticut River watershed comprises one-sixth of the New England region and is home to 2.3 million residents, as well as hundreds of species of plants and animals. The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) was established in 1997 and is the only multi-state watershed-based refuge in the United States’ vast system of federal refuges. It’s aim is to conserve the aquatic and terrestrial habitat resources of the entire 7.2 million-acre Connecticut River watershed across the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

In 2005, a group of passionate and engaged individuals came together to discuss how best to collaborate to ensure that the vision of the original Refuge founder could be built upon and following that meeting, the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte Refuge (Friends of Conte) was launched.. From the beginning, the Friends of Conte have committed to a collaborative effort to further three Central pillars: conservation, outdoor recreation and environmental education. Almost a decade later years later, their membership is comprised of59 non-profit organisations and 10 state and federal agency partners, working collaboratively towards these shared ideals. Activities have ranged from developing a set of hydrology models to help inform dam operations, collaborating on land protection and water quality initiatives and working to extend the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail – The Friends of Conte know firsthand that getting people out on the river is the first step to educating them about the opportunities and the urgency to conserve this essential freshwater resource.”