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. Public Access
To encourage recreational use of rivers, River Advocates is investigating more public access for paddlers and hikers. We approach landowners to establish public easements to the rivers.
We are seeking to reopen access to the Little River, a Quinnipiac tributary, and to the Quinnipiac in the vicinity of Quinnipiac River State Park.
River Advocates offers river trips in our boats and trains river guides to accompany paddlers and help create water trails.
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.