Shaheen introduces legislation to protect Connecticut River

From Kilowatt Field, Jane Svetaka of Hartland, Vt., and Nancy Maynard, of White River Junction, Vt., decide where to paddle on the Connecticut River on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Wilder, Vt. The women kayak on the river one or two times a week, spending time photographing wildlife on the river. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

From Kilowatt Field, Jane Svetaka of Hartland, Vt., and Nancy Maynard, of White River Junction, Vt., decide where to paddle on the Connecticut River on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Wilder, Vt. The women kayak on the river one or two times a week, spending time photographing wildlife on the river. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file photograph — Jennifer Hauck

By RICK GREEN

Keene Sentinel

Published: 08-24-2023 7:41 PM

Legislation aimed at restoring and protecting the Connecticut River, its tributaries and surrounding land in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House.

The effort is intended to provide benefits to the environment, water quality and fish and wildlife while building resilience to the kind of major flooding seen throughout the region as recently as last month.

The legislation would create a grant and technical assistance program for state and local governments, tribal organizations, nonprofits and institutions of higher education.

However, it does not list specific programs or projects but instead says they would be identified “in consultation with federal, state, local and non-profit stakeholders.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced the Connecticut River Watershed Partnership Act on July 27, and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., introduced a companion bill in the House this past Tuesday, with co-sponsors including Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H.

“The Connecticut River is central to the natural wonder, scenic vistas and economy of communities in New Hampshire and throughout New England,” Kuster said in a prepared statement released last week.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Police: Missing NH girls located and are safe
Nonprofit, developer in settlement talks over Lebanon golf course
NH medical examiner: Newport girl, 5, died of ‘natural’ cause
Dartmouth students end hunger strike as faculty seek to have students’ trespassing charges dropped
Over Easy: Oats could be the answer
Thetford 60, WRV 58: Epic comeback sends Panthers to state title game

“Its watershed impacts the well-being of resources that go well beyond the river’s banks. That’s why this effort to protect the Connecticut River watershed is so critical to the long-term health and resiliency of New Hampshire and the region.”

Shaheen began working on the bill well before last month’s flooding, but this event points to the need to put the watershed in a better position to withstand severe weather events, her office said.

There are no Republican co-sponsors on the legislation, which does not yet have a price tag.

The Connecticut River begins just south of the U.S. border with Quebec and runs 410 miles before discharging into Long Island Sound. Nearly 400 towns and cities are in its watershed.

“As New England’s longest river, the Connecticut River and its watershed provide vital resources for communities throughout the region and it’s imperative we protect and preserve it,” Shaheen said in a recent news release.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.