NOAA and Co-trustees Seek Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Two Connecticut Hazardous Waste Sites

An aerial view of a meandering marsh channel at McKinney Wildlife Refuge. Credit USFWS

NOAA and Co-trustees Seek Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Two Connecticut Hazardous Waste Sites

November 9, 2018

Trustees for the Lordship Point Gun Club site, a former skeet shooting range, and Raymark Industries site, a former car parts manufacturer in Connecticut, released a Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 197 pg). The draft plan proposes to restore salt marsh habitat in the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge to address injuries from releases of hazardous waste at these sites.

The Trustees, including NOAA, the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, are seeking comments on the draft plan through December 11. The Trustees have scheduled a public meeting to discuss restoration planning and accept public comment on the draft plan.

  • November 19, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
    Audubon Connecticut,1207 Prospect Drive, Stratford, CT

The draft plan discusses impacts from the hazardous waste releases, and identifies actions to restore the health of the local ecosystems and communities.

The Trustees are proposing a set of salt marsh restoration projects at the refuge’s Great Meadows Marsh Unit in Stratford. This salt marsh, near where the Housatonic River meets with Long Island Sound, is the largest salt marsh complex in Connecticut. The marsh provides ecological services such as filtering water, protecting coastal communities, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife. The proposed restoration is expected to increase marsh area and improve upon the ecological services provided by this important marsh complex.

The marsh restoration projects will provide ecological and community benefits, including cover, feeding and spawning habitats for fish and shellfish, feeding and breeding habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, and increased local community resiliency by improving the health and sustainability of the marsh. These activities also support improved project cost-effectiveness, and overall need for wetland restoration within the watershed.

During the development of the draft plan, the Trustees coordinated with agency staff, town officials, and local conservation and natural resource organizations to identify a number of potential restoration activities for the two cases and conducted numerous site visits.

Since these two case sites are located in close proximity to one another and their releases resulted in similar injuries, the Trustees are coordinating restoration actions. This will leverage approximately $1 million in settlement funds, which also includes Housatonic River case Trustee Council funds, to implement a larger, more impactful project than would have been the case if the Trustees kept restoration activities for the two sites cases separate.

The public is invited to review and comment this Draft Restoration Plan by providing written comments through December 11. Comments may be submitted to:

  • James Turek
    NOAA Trustee Representative
    NOAA Restoration Center
    28 Tarzwell Drive
    Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
    James.G.Turek@noaa.gov

Comments received by the deadline will be reviewed and considered by the Trustees in preparing and releasing the Final Restoration Plan.