A Newsletter from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

Exploring Long Island Sound - Issues and Opportunities

Some West Haven Homeowners Choosing to Accept Buyouts on Flood-Prone Properties
 
It's no secret that people love to live on the coast.  Waterfront locations and water views are all the rage, touted as among the most desirable features in the real estate market.  But one of the least desirable features in real estate is a water view inside your home due to flooding.

Many homes along the Connecticut shoreline experienced these indoor water views during storms Irene and Sandy, and frequent and severe coastal flooding events, repeated flooding losses, and the resulting astronomical increases in federal flood insurance rates are starting to put a damper on coastal living.
Homeowners who have experienced severe flooding have few choices to make improvements.  If they can afford to, many choose to repair or rebuild in-place and elevate their homes to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards. 

For those who do not or cannot elevate, their damaged properties may be impossible to sell. But thanks to a program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), some property owners impacted by the unprecedented flooding caused by Storm Sandy have another option.  The Emergency Watershed Protection Program - Flood Plain Easement (EWPP-FPE) allows eligible landowners to voluntarily enroll land impacted by Storm Sandy into permanent easements to prevent future damage from flooding.  Future development of the property is prohibited and the area is restored to natural conditions, which in turn provides additional flood storage to the adjacent area.  This improves the community's coastal resilience during storms.

Photo of home in West Haven with _Demo_ painted on the exterior
Another flood damaged home in West Haven with Demo painted on the exterior









Some of the flood-prone homes in West Haven that will be demolished
Photo Credit: Carol Szymanski, DEEP OLISP

With Storm Sandy capping years of flood damages and repairs, several residents in West Haven's Old Field Creek neighborhood near Long Island Sound initiated talks with the City of West Haven for assistance through the EWPP-FPE.  All of the properties are located in a FEMA AE Flood Zone and none of the homes was constructed or elevated to FEMA standards.  Properties with structures are eligible for the program, but those properties must have a "project sponsor" such as a state agency or municipality to buy-out the underlying fee simple interest in the property once the easement is applied.  This allows the homeowner to receive the fair market value of their property as it was the day before Storm Sandy hit the coast.  The City of West Haven is serving as the sponsor in this EWPP-FPE process, and municipal staff is providing tremendous assistance to home and property owners in the Old Field Creek area.  Eileen Krugel, the City Grants Writer who is spearheading the effort at the local level, says, "We are learning as we go along, but the effort is worth it for the safety of our citizens." So far, the residents and the City of West Haven have been quite satisfied with the results of the EWPP-FPE. 

Thirteen homes in West Haven have already gone through closings and are now being demolished, and those properties will be restored to natural conditions as much as possible.  NRCS has also tentatively selected 19 other Old Field Creek properties for a second phase of the program.  "This is the first time any flood plain easements utilizing EWPP-FPE have been done in Connecticut," said Arde Ramthun, NRCS State Conservation Engineer and EWP Program Manager.  "My co-workers and I can honestly say it has been a pleasure working with all the people and towns along the coast; it has been rewarding to assist people in need," he said.

Photo of West Haven house being demolished

Demolition of Flood-Prone West Haven Homes
Photo Credit: Eileen Krugel, Town of West Haven

































While coastal community resilience is key in this program, the elimination of structures not built to FEMA standards from the flood hazard area may have positive results on the City of West Haven's FEMA rating.  Benefits brought about by the EWPP-FPE include:
  • owners of damaged property that might not attract willing buyers receive the fair market value of their property;
  • residents of flood-damaged homes no longer have to deal with the mold that flooding can bring;  
  • there is a significant cost savings of demolishing flood-prone homes once and for all--no more costly repairs year after year; and
  • at-risk residents are relocated to safer inland locations outside the flood zone.
And because those residents have been relocated, West Haven's first-responders no longer have to evacuate residents in flood-prone areas during the height of a storm event.  While people who are at work or out shopping are more willing to leave their office building or a retail shop rather quickly, homeowners are less apt to leave their primary residences quite so soon.  Which means that first-responders must rescue homeowners who stayed behind and became stranded at their residence.  Razing these houses eliminates some of the risk for rescue workers because fewer people will be living in flood-prone areas.

More West Haven homes with _Demo_ spray painted on the exterior
More West Haven homes to be demolished as part of the
NRCS EWPP-FPE
Photo Credit: Carol Szymanski,
DEEP OLISP
According to NRCS, the City of Milford is another Connecticut coastal community tentatively selected for NRCS EWPP-FPE Sandy funding.  The city will be the sponsor for a group of applicants with homes, as well as for a large group of small, open-land applications in the Calf Pen Meadow area.  Other tentative open-land EWPP-FPE applications are in Darien, East Haven, Madison, and Old Lyme. 

Once the program is completed in Connecticut, it is expected that the program will have purchased easements on approximately 270 acres of flood-prone land along Connecticut's coast, significantly improving coastal resilience along the shore. 

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OceanPlanDraft Northeast Ocean Plan
Available for Public Review
 

The Draft Northeast Ocean Plan, developed by the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB), is now available for public review and comment until July 25, 2016. 

Cover image of Draft Northeast Ocean Plan report
Formed in 2012, the Northeast RPB represents the six New England states, six federally recognized tribes, nine federal agencies, the New England Fisheries Management Council, and Ex-Officio members New York State and Canada, developing the plan as a "blueprint to protect and manage a public treasure together." 


The goals of the Northeast Ocean Plan are:
  • Healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems;
  • Effective decision-making; and
  • Compatibility among past, current, and future ocean uses.
The draft plan is the culmination of four years of review, research, and input from stakeholders and experts.  The plan will ultimately serve as a guide to help agencies develop policies and make decisions that recognize the regional importance of the Northeast's ocean resources so they can be better managed.

The RPB is seeking public input on the Draft Plan.  Please see the Northeast Ocean Plan website for details on how to provide comments in writing or online.

Public information meetings are also being held throughout the northeast region.  These public meetings will highlight the findings and recommendations of the plan. There will be an opportunity to discuss the plan, ask questions, and submit public comment.  For more information on the public information meetings, please contact Greer Millard at 617.695.0369.
 

 

 livingshorelinesIIILiving Shorelines III Workshop
Scheduled for September 15, 2016
 

Mark your calendars: Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford will be the site for the Living Shorelines III workshop, to be held on September 15, 2016.  This workshop will help attendees gain a better understanding of what actually constitutes a permit-able living shoreline.  The workshop format will be different from the previous two workshops and will build on the topics previously covered at Living Shorelines I and Living Shorelines II

While the exact agenda for Living Shorelines III has not yet been finalized, the workshop will follow a charette format: participants will be placed on teams of between 8 to 10 people of diverse professions, and the teams will be given guidelines pertaining to living shoreline designs and pertinent site conditions. Teams will be given one of three on-site areas for which they will design a living shoreline: (1) beach/dune, (2) bluff, and (3) marsh. 

A panel made up of staff from DEEP OLISP's permitting division, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and possibly other agencies will then provide feedback on the living shoreline design aspects that work (or do not work!) from a permitting perspective.

Photo of reef balls on the shoreline in Stratford
Reef Ball Living Shoreline Project, Stratford
Photo Credit: Sacred Heart University

Please check the UConn Climate Adaptation Academy Upcoming Workshops website for updates on the Living Shorelines III workshop.  In the meantime, contact Juliana Barrett, Associate Extension Educator with Connecticut Sea Grant, at 860.405.9106 if you have any questions.  See you in September!

 

 SpotlightedaccessSPOTLIGHTED COASTAL ACCESS:
West Haven is Beach Heaven
 
If you're looking for a divine recreational experience this summer, West Haven may well be your beach heaven.  West Haven is blessed with almost four miles of public sandy beach which provide a range of outdoor recreation opportunities.

One of the more glorious beach areas in the city is the two-mile section of shoreline anchored by Bradley Point Park on the west and Sandy Point on the east.  This section of West Haven's shore is truly a "beach for all reasons and seasons."  Ranging from facilities-supported outdoor recreation in the west, to undeveloped, natural-resource-based recreation to the east, with a parallel 1.7-mile recreation path connecting the two, there's something for everyone along this scenic section of shoreline.
Click on the photo for an enlarged view
Photo Credit: West Haven Harbor Management Commission

Historic Bradley Point Park, where militiaman Thomas Painter atop Savin Rock alerted colonists of invading British ships entering New Haven Harbor in 1779, is a popular picnic area with beach volleyball courts and panoramic views of Long Island Sound.  To the east, Old Grove and Savin Rock Parks at the Oak Street beaches, arguably the City's waterfront park crown jewels, provide a gazebo to escape the summer sun and food concessions if you need to rest and restore your energy after fishing at the park pier, sailing, kayak-launching, or swimming under the watchful eye of lifeguards.

Since the Savin Rock House hotel was constructed in 1838, the Savin Rock area has been the hub of developed waterfront recreation and leisure opportunities along this stretch of West Haven's beaches.  Dubbed "Connecticut's Coney Island," it was formally incorporated as an amusement park by the Savin Rock Park Company on Memorial Day 1925, when it opened to 300,000 visitors and 66,000 automobiles in what must have been one spectacular day.

Moving east, the wide, white sand Morse Beach offers swimming and fishing from rock outcroppings. Here, the beach and adjacent Old Field Creek tidal marsh begin to offer a more natural setting where birders, bathers, and surfcasting anglers meet.

The Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary and Sandy Point spit are the eastern terminus of this magnificent two-mile stretch of sandy shoreline. This area offers the most natural, semi-primitive, remote coastal experience -- you'll find it hard to believe that you are within minutes of downtown West Haven/New Haven! Here the City of West Haven has been working with civic-minded groups, especially the National Audubon Society's Connecticut office, to establish the Sandy Point and Morse Point Globally Important Bird Area. In the last year, the city built two osprey nest platforms in the Old Field creek marsh, which has been getting healthier and healthier each year with the installation of self-regulating tide gates that allow tidal flushing of the marsh without flooding adjacent neighborhoods over the last decade. More recently, the city constructed an observation deck providing views of the marshes on Sandy Point. Depending on the season, birders will enjoy seeing some common shorebirds of Connecticut, including Least Tern, Common Tern, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Osprey, as well as a variety of egrets, heron, and sandpipers.

To access this section of West Haven's shoreline, consult the Harbor Management Commission map to identify the parking area closest to the section of beach that most interests you.  Non-residents may purchase daily parking passes for $10 (or $5 after 5 pm) at Sandy Point, Morse Beach, Bradley Point, and Sea Bluff Beach parking lots.  There are also parking kiosks on Palace Street, accessible from Altschuler Boulevard (pier) that accept cash, coin, credit and debit cards.  An annual non-resident pass is available for $75 in the Human Resources office at City Hall.  More information can be found on the City of West Haven tourism website

Information about the beaches of West Haven and approximately 300 other coastal access areas can also be found in the Connecticut Coastal Access Guide.

 

JUNE 2016 | No. 52 

 

 

 

First Impressions
New Column Shares the "First Impressions" that Make an Environmental Difference
 
According to Eric Eckl, the founder of Water Words That Work (WWTW) and the keynote speaker at the April 2016 Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference hosted by Connecticut DEEP and NEIWPCC, his market research shows that there is a common progression among people who consider themselves to be "environmentalists."  It starts with a "first impression" or experience that then makes them take a first environmental step.  This step is usually then followed by a greater environmental awareness and a behavior change, and ultimately results in a "big step," such as choosing an environmental career. 

This new column will feature the "First Impression" that set someone on his or her path to environmentalism.  We hope Sound Outlook readers will relate to these "First Impressions" and recall their own experiences that led them to appreciate and care about Long Island Sound.  

Our inaugural column highlights the First Impression of DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee, who is Chairman of the
Long Island Sound Blue Plan Advisory Committee:

Commissioner Klee attributes his "First Impression" to the family camping and hiking trips he experienced as a young boy.  Although it might have had more to do with being an economical vacation rather than exposing the family to the great outdoors, these vacations had a profound effect him. 

 
One of my earliest memories of childhood is actually a camping trip we took as a family to Acadia National Park.  I have this vivid memory of walking down a gravel road in the mist that hits coastal Maine, through a deep, dark evergreen forest. Camping and hiking with my family has always been a part of my life.

Commissioner Klee was raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, so he also had many experiences in and on the water that solidified his connection to Long Island Sound.  His family had a small sailboat that they sailed on the Sound, but one summer they brought the boat to a lake in the Berkshires of Massachusetts:

Another memorable experience was on a lake in the Berkshires.  We brought a little sailboat which we had sailed on Long Island Sound and I was allowed to go out in the boat by myself for the first time...tethered with a long rope to the bumper of our car! 

These positive outdoor experiences then led Commissioner Klee to his "First Step," which was volunteering during middle school and high school at the Connecticut Audubon Society just down the road from his house in Fairfield.  He performed a variety of tasks associated with bird rehabilitation:

My "First Step" was built on my first impressions of my connection to nature.  Mostly, I cleaned cages and handled dead rats (that were fed to the rehabilitated birds).  But I realized that many of the birds were injured because of negative interactions with people.

Hiking, camping, and his work at the Audubon Society contributed to Commissioner Klee's environmental awareness, which also brought about behavior changes in his personal life:

I think the "backpacker philosophy" to not leave a trace when you're hiking or camping was my first behavior change.  This, of course, coincided with the start of recycling at home and at school.  And those efforts all merged together with that linkage to the Audubon rescue center and the knowledge that humans have a significant effect on the environment. 

Now that he has taken the ultimate "Big Step" in becoming Commissioner of the Connecticut DEEP, readers might assume that Rob Klee's career path was always a given.  But this was not the case, and Princeton University's freshman year curriculum requirements set him on a different path:

I was originally planning on being an English major.  But I took "Rocks for Jocks" to fulfill a freshman year lab science requirement.  I somehow managed to get into a special lab class that wasn't held in a dusty basement in New Jersey, but was a three week field trip to the Sierras.  We were based in Mammoth Lake, California, and that's where I became hooked.  Seeing those amazing natural spaces and learning about geologic time and the beauty of natural systems opened my eyes there, and since then it's what I've always been passionate about.

So that "Rock for Jocks" field trip was another behavior change for Commissioner Klee, going from English major to geology major, with a minor in the then-fledgling environmental studies program that had just started at Princeton.  The Commissioner continued on this academic path, which would eventually send him on a dissertation research trip (and honeymoon!) to the Antarctic aboard a converted Russian icebreaker through 10-foot seas (where those concave bunkbeds with seatbelts came in handy).  But that's a story for another column...

And it all goes back to those early days in Acadia and the Berkshires and on Long Island Sound, being exposed to the outdoors though family trips. 

Those family trips also remind Commissioner Klee of the importance of keeping camping and fishing experiences in the state affordable for other families.  Perhaps a future Commissioner of Connecticut DEEP is camping with his or her family at Hammonasset Beach State Park right now! 

 

 

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Look Out For Upcoming Events!

Blue Plan Advisory Committee Meeting
September 7, 2016
Location TBD

Long Island Sound Study (LISS) 
Committee Meetings

Please be sure to check the  

Calendar of Events on
DEEP's website

 

 

 

Supports the LIS Fund



The LIS fund supports projects in the areas of education, public access to the shoreline, habitat restoration, and research.

 

 

Blue Plan Update
 
The Blue Plan Advisory Committee continues their charge to develop a Blue Plan for Long Island Sound.  The Committee held a meeting on May 12, 2016 at the Vicki G. Duffy Pavilion in Old Saybrook.  Sound Outlook readers should frequently check for updates to the Blue Plan Advisory Committee webpage for meeting announcements, agendas, and minutes, and the Blue Plan Related Links webpage for Blue Plan documents and presentations.

The next meeting of the Blue Plan Advisory Committee is scheduled for September 7, 2016.  The meeting place and time are yet to be determined.   

 

 

CT NERR Update
 
The Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) effort officially began with a public kick-off meeting on April 12, 2016 and an organizational meeting for the Site Selection Team on May 18th, 2016.  

Subsequent meetings of the Site Selection team will be on-going throughout the year, and Sound Outlook readers can check in on the progress via the NERR project webpage.

All NERR meeting materials including agendas, presentations, attendee lists, handouts, and notes can be accessed via the CT NERR Teams webpage.     
spotlightedcoastalresourceSPOTLIGHTED COASTAL RESOURCE:
Nourishing West Haven Beaches

Connecticut's bedrock-dominated, low-wave-energy coast lacks the key ingredients needed for the classic type of beach formation referred to in textbooks. The result is a shoreline that little resembles those of our neighbors to the east (Rhode Island) and south (South Shore Long Island/New Jersey) where wide, expansive beaches along the open Atlantic Ocean are common.

Connecticut's low-energy shoreline is a result of Long Island, a land mass that serves as a natural breakwater and limits the distance of open water, called "fetch," over which sustained winds must blow to produce significant wave energy.  It's this energy, lacking along the Connecticut shore, that's needed to re-work shoreline sediment sources to build long, wide, sandy beaches. Connecticut's supply of beach sand is limited, largely fixed to what was deposited when the last glacier retreated ~20,000 years ago.  Significant areas of sand remain untapped in glacial deltas that occupy ancient stream valleys between coastal headlands, but these sand sources are often trapped behind seawalls, roads, and other barriers.  These barriers prevent the sand from entering the sediment supply stream suspended in nearshore water currents that move along coastal shorelines and build beaches.

Beaches, both the sandy and the rough-cobble variety, comprise only about 88 of Connecticut's 333 miles of coastline, including coves and embayments.  However, along some segments of Connecticut's sand-starved coast, where beaches were deemed desirable for recreation and protection from erosion, they have been enhanced or created through the direct placement of sand through a process called "beach-nourishment."  Such is the case for most of the 11 named beaches along the 3.5 mile stretch of West Haven's shoreline from South Street Beach to Sandy Point, the longest nearly continuous stretch of publicly accessible saltwater beach on the Connecticut coast.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Shoreline Change Project

West Haven's beaches, which occur within a 13-mile segment of shoreline extending from Milford Harbor to Lighthouse Point (New Haven), are dominated by till, an unsorted mixture of material deposited during the last glaciation.  Here, the till is rich in erosion-resistant clay and punctuated by areas of bedrock, neither of which are conducive to creating wide, white sandy beach.  So West Haven's beaches are a product of both native and imported sources of sand.

The beaches west of Morse Beach were historically narrow, likely consisting of coarse-grained material derived from area's glacial till.  From Morse Beach east to Sandy Point, native sources of sand from glacial outwash deposits historically helped produce wider and finer-grained sandy beach.  However, all of West Haven's beaches have, to varying extents, been altered through beach nourishment and the construction of groins, rock barriers constructed perpendicular to the shoreline designed to trap sand, which in the case of West Haven is moving from west to east toward New Haven Harbor through a process called littoral transport (in the "Today" photo above, note the sand accumulating on the west side of the groins as it moves towards the east).

Further, when you compare the segment of shoreline between Bradley Point and Morse Beach in the "Today" photo to the condition of these beaches in the "1934" photo above, you see that today's beaches little resemble the narrow coarse grain and cobble beaches that occurred here prior to the beach nourishment and groin construction projects beginning in the 1940s. These projects have required significant investments in West Haven's shoreline.  Just since the 1990s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Connecticut, and the City of West Haven have funded over $10 million of beach nourishment projects in West Haven, most recently along Prospect Avenue (west of Bradley Point) and at Oak Street Beach at Savin Rock that were affected by Storms Irene and Sandy. 

Although beach nourishment in West Haven has provided tremendous support for recreation activities, another significant benefit of beach nourishment is the creation of a natural sand barrier that provides protection to the structures and infrastructure located behind the beach.  The area just landward of the nourished beach system is better able to handle storm waves and flooding than it was in 1934 without a substantial beach system in place.  Beach nourishment contributes to the area's long-term resilience, making it better able to adapt to and recover from future storm events and sea level rise. 

For a more complete visual guide to shoreline change from 1880 to present for this area of shoreline, please see the Connecticut Shoreline Change Project's West Haven map series.  The Connecticut Shoreline Change Project can also be used to inform future decisions affecting Connecticut's coast, and contains links to shoreline change map series for 10 other areas along Connecticut's shore. 

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barnislandDEEP Seeking Public Input on the
Management Assessment Report Developed for
Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington

Regular readers of Sound Outlook are no doubt familiar with Barn Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Stonington (please see the June 2004, October 2006, June 2009, and February 2012 issues for related articles).  Like other state wildlife management areas, Barn Island is managed to provide healthy, undisturbed habitat for fish, birds, mammals, and other resident and migratory wildlife, and to offer a variety of natural resource-based outdoor recreational opportunities that are consistent with the area's habitat management goals.  At just over 1,000 acres, Barn Island is Connecticut's largest, most diverse, and most ecologically significant coastal wildlife management area, so it's no surprise that this magnificent property would be repeatedly featured in this publication as a spotlighted coastal resource or public access site. 

Photo of a coastal meadow at Barn Island
A coastal meadow at Barn Island
Photo Credit: DEEP

The DEEP Wildlife Division received a 2012 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant to begin development of a comprehensive management plan for Barn Island. As a first step, Connecticut College was contracted to gather all of the historic, scientific, management, and public use information available and present the DEEP Wildlife Division with a Management Assessment Report that contains management recommendations/options to consider in addressing a variety of resource management issues and needs identified for the property.

The Wildlife Division is now seeking comment on the Management Assessment Report, as well as any additional information related to Barn Island WMA, from the general public, conservation organizations, and various user groups including researchers and educators familiar with the property.  All input received will be considered by the Wildlife Division in developing the management plan, a draft of which will be available for public review and comment in late fall 2016.  Ultimately, the management plan will allow DEEP to more proactively protect any past and future investments dedicated to:
  • Protecting and managing Barn Island species, habitats, and cultural resources; and
  • Providing compatible outdoor recreation and education opportunities.
Public comments on the Management Assessment Report will be accepted until June 30, 2016 and can be submitted to DEEP Wildlife Division Biologist Ann Kilpatrick (860.424.4144) via email at deep.WildlifeHabitat@ct.gov; via U.S. mail at DEEP Eastern District Headquarters, 209 Hebron Road, Marlborough, CT 06447; or via fax at 860.295.8175 (Attn: Ann Kilpatrick, Subject: Barn Island WMA).
 

 

climatechangeupdate Climate Change Update: A Resilient West Haven  

This issue of Sound Outlook has highlighted some of the ways in which West Haven is improving community resilience to storm events and climate change-related impacts.  The city's participation in the NRCS Easement Program and their beach nourishment projects are perfect examples of the integrated approach to resilience that is underway in West Haven.  But these projects are not case-by-case, on-the-fly ideas.  They came about due in large part to hazard mitigation planning efforts recently undertaken in south central Connecticut. 

The
South Central Region Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan, developed by the South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) with a grant from the Connecticut DEEP, serves as a comprehensive framework for towns and cities in the South Central Region and recommends mitigation strategies to help them reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards including hurricanes and tropical storms, flooding, coastal erosion, and sea level rise.  Mitigation strategies in the plan range from planning efforts and changes in municipal regulations, to educational programs, to infrastructure improvement projects.
 
Released in April of 2014, the plan also meets the mitigation planning process required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure federal assistance to the South Central Region, and to allow those cities and town to compete for mitigation assistance funding.  

Among West Haven's mitigation strategies contained in the plan are a property buyout on Third Avenue Extension and Blohm Street in the Old Field Creek floodplain to mitigate against flood hazards, as well as beach sand nourishment and dune restoration.  Sound familiar?

The regional hazard mitigation plan also recommends elevating Beach Street from Monahan Place to Second Avenue, a vital crossroads in the city that provides evacuation access for homes in the area as well as access to the municipal waste water treatment facility.  So the City of West Haven was well-poised to apply for a grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.  The CDBG-DR funding was distributed by the Connecticut Department of Housing to help recovery in the cities and towns most impacted from Storm Sandy. 
 
Visit the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep 


   
Published by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse.
 
Editor: Mary-beth Hart; Contributing Editor: Mark Parker;  
Layout: Caryn Furbush; Illustrations: Tom Ouellette;
Contributors: Juliana Barrett, David Kozak, Carol Szymanski      
 
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection  is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Please contact us at (860)418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov if you: have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.  Any person needing a hearing accommodation may call the State of Connecticut relay number--711.  Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to any agency hearing, program, or event.  
Thus, in July of 2014, West Haven received a $1,200,000 Infrastructure Award for improvements to Beach Street and First Avenue.  The work involves raising the elevation of this critical roadway that links parts of West Haven that were flooded under five feet of water during Storm Sandy.  This area also serves as a vital connection to the waste water treatment facility and provides access for first responders, as it is the primary evacuation route for this section of town.

This initial award was followed by an additional CDBG-DR award of $1,650,000 in December of 2014 to continue the reconstruction of Beach Street. The additional work includes raising 2,120 feet of the road an average of three feet to protect utilities and maintain vital connections for first responsers.

In light of these ongoing projects, West Haven is well on its way to accomplishing many of the mitigation strategies contained in the regional hazard mitigation plan.  Which means the city is well on it way to becoming more resilient and better prepared for future storms like Sandy, and other climate change-related impacts that may come their way.




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