The Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut (EPOC) is pleased to announce our environmental grant awards for 2020 as follows (total amount of all awards is $10,360):
- Friends of the Lake
Friends of the Lake (FOTL) was formed in 2003 to improve Lake Lillinonah for the recreational enjoyment for those who use it, to improve its water quality to the standards set forth in the Clean Water Act, and for the long term environmental protection of this beautiful section of the Housatonic River and its watershed. Lake Lillinonah is the second largest lake in Connecticut, located between the boundaries of Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Milford, Newtown, Roxbury and Southbury. Lake Lillinonah has had a small population of the invasive aquatic plant Trapa natans, water chestnut. In the past two years, FOTL has noted a marked increase in the population. The EPOC grant will be used promote, organize, and supervise pulling events focusing on the Still River area. Funds will also be used to conduct an aquatic plant survey in the Still River. The survey will allow FOTL to record the remaining plants species and their abundance to use as a comparison against future surveys to determine the long-term success of this project in creating a more diverse, healthy ecosystem.
- New Canaan Land Trust
The New Canaan Land Trust (NCLT) works to foster a connection between the New Canaan community and its natural resources through the conservation and sustainable stewardship of our open space. One of the New Canaan Land Trust’s premier properties is their Firefly Sanctuary, one of the first-known firefly sanctuaries in the United States. During the summer, tens of thousands of fireflies illuminate the night sky, and draw visitors from across the region. The EPOC grant will be used to improve the trail system to increase accessibility and limit impact of visitors, install seating area for visitors, install trailhead kiosk to educate visitors, and, to install split-rail fencing along property line.
- Steep Rock Association, Inc.
Steep Rock Association (SRA) is a land trust whose mission is to conserve ecologically and historically significant landscapes in around Washington, CT, and the Shepaug River Valley. EPOC’s grant will be used as part of a collaborative with multiple organizations (including CT DEEP) to remove a dysfunctional culvert in Curtis Brook. This will help restore the natural function of Curtis brook by eliminating the barrier to aquatic organisms, including brook trout, and will greatly increase the amount of accessible cold-water stream habitat. Using existing rock material, a series of 3 step pools will be constructed in the streambed allowing for fish passage. Our grant will also allow for the preparation of a stream restoration design, which is needed for regulatory review, permitting, planning, fundraising, and project implementation.
--------------The EPOC Grant Program provides non-profit and not-for-profit environmental advocacy groups, community-based groups and environmental education organizations, funding for local projects that benefit the environment on an annual basis. For further information, see our Grant Program page on our website at www.epoc.org/grants.