Hazardous Waste Site | Stratford, CT | 1920s to Present
The Remington Gun Club operated a skeet shooting range at Lordship Point beginning in the 1920s. The peninsula is located at the mouth of the Housatonic River estuary, where it empties into Long Island Sound. An estimated 4.8 million pounds of lead gun shot from the firing range contaminated on-site uplands, salt marshes, and shallow water habitats adjacent to the site.
The range was closed in 1986, and cleanup was completed in 2001. NOAA provided technical assistance to EPA for the site assessment. Approximately 71,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and sediment were removed from tidal wetlands and shallow water areas. Fringe salt marsh excavated during cleanup activities was restored.
What Were the Impacts?
Lead shot contaminated approximately 12 acres of shallow water tidal habitats and 29 acres of fringe salt marsh and uplands. Lead is highly toxic, accumulating in living organisms as it passes through the food web. A 1987 study found high lead levels in blue mussels, as well as acute lead poisoning in black ducks using the site. Additionally, because lead shot pellets were commonly found on the beach, recreational activities were negatively affected for decades.
What’s Happening Now?
As part of the 2004 settlement, the responsible party (DuPont) provided $218,000 for restoration of tidal flats and salt marsh, and also restored a coastal grassland habitat at the site. A conservation easement allows the property to be maintained as public open space, managed by Connecticut Audubon.
NOAA and Co-trustees Government officials acting on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources. released a Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 197 pg) to the public on November 12, 2018. The preferred restoration project focuses on salt marsh restoration in Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Great Meadows Marsh Unit. The Trustees are combining bankruptcy proceeds from the Raymark Industries site, also in Stratford, and funds from the Housatonic River settlement for collectively securing approximately $1 million for restoration. The public is encouraged to review and submit comments on the draft restoration plan by December 11, 2018.