It’s been slow paddling, but the project to establish a canoe/kayak boat launch at the edge of the City’s transfer station property on the North End Peninsula appears to be heading to solid ground. The Department of Planning, Conservation and Development has confirmed CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) funding and support. Obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for the project requires a number of steps, and the City has been moving ahead to gather the information necessary to file applications. A survey of aquatic vegetation was conducted recently by Rich Snarksi of New England Environmental Services. He found no tidal wetland or aquatic vegetation of concern. Jim Sipperly, soil scientist and employee of the City’s Water and Sewer Department, identified and delineated wetlands at the site. Joe Wren (Indigo Land Design) surveyed the site and developed a new topographic plan incorporating flagged wetlands, which will be used to identify possible access routes and exact launch locations. In addition to the appropriate City departments, the Coginchaug River Access Group (CRAG, see below) will be included in the review of the draft plan, according to Matt Dodge, Planning Department. Once a plan has been fully developed and approved by City agencies, the Planning Department will file the necessary applications with CT DEEP (e.g. Office of Long Island Sound Programs and Flood Management Certification). A successful plan will depend on the cooperation and support of the Public Works Department, as well as the Mayor’s Office and Planning Department. CRAG is hopeful that these offices will remain committed to this popular public project, and that construction of the launch will begin in spring 2012.
This update is submitted by CRAG, an ad hoc committee of the Jonah Center for Earth and Art. CRAG began working with the Middletown Department of Planning, Conservation and Development in March 2010 to identify a location for a car-top boat launch, and to utilize the $50,000 grant awarded to the City in 2007 for this project from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. For more information contact John Hall by sending a message from the Jonah Center for Earth and Art website www.thejonahcenter.org