River Advocates carries out projects with the support of our partners, including the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Women's Seamen's Friends Society, Wallingford Youth and Social Services, Sound School, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West River Watershed Coalition and Mill River Watershed Association.
Project 1. Stormwater Training
River Advocates is training municipal public works crews and health officials to use best practices for stormwater management to avoided polluted runoff from streets and landscapes, the source of nitrogen, phosphorus and bacteria pollution that affects our urban rivers.
To date we have trained crews at North Haven DPW, North Haven Wastewater Treatment Plant, Wallingford DPW, and municipal health departments of the region. Crew members share with us their experience managing leaves, storm drains, snow removal, vegetative stream buffers, spill cleanup, street sweeping, and controlling bacteria for maximum river protection.
Project 2. Citizen Science: Streamflow
Streams and rivers are losing water at certain times of the year due to land development, deforestation, pumping or diversion of water and climate change. Citizen scientists (like you!) can help document these changes so we can improve streamflow for aquatic life, fishing and river recreation.
All you need is your cell phone or camera and your commitment to photograph your chosen stream once a month for a year. Click here for instructions and a list of stream crossings we are interested in monitoring.
Project 3. Permits Advocacy
Discharges to area rivers and water diversions from rivers and their aquifers are regulated by environmental officials. For rivers to recover from "impaired" status, water quality must improve over time and water must be kept flowing, especially during hot and dry times of the year. River Advocates follows permit procedures, encourages public participation, and advocates for standards to protect human health and wildlife.
River Advocates reached an agreement in 2016 with resin manufacturer allnex to set a standard for the release of tetrahydrofuran to the Quinnipiac, and allow students from Quinnipiac University to monitor the company's discharge.