The construction of a canoe and kayak launch on the Coginchaug River near the City’s recycling center was scheduled to take place this summer, in 2013. (See the dotted yellow line on the lower right portion of the upper photo.) The City of Middletown’s Department of Public Works began the work last fall by clearing the area of brush, excavating a driveway, and laying down a packed stone surface for access and parking (see lower photo). The site is now usable for those who don’t mind getting their feet muddy, but the solid ramp that will allow paddlers to wade safely into the water, along with the signs, information kiosk, and benches cannot be installed until the summer of 2014.
The reason for this year’s delay: one of the reviewing and permitting agencies surprised us by requiring a more finely detailed report on aquatic vegetation than our wetland surveyor originally provided. This second report could not be completed until the leaves came out in the spring. Due to the many months that pass between filing an application and getting the permit, construction now has to wait another year. Fortunately, the City was able to receive a one-year extension of the grant period to accommodate this delay.
The Jonah Center for Earth and Art and the Coginchaug River Access Group very much appreciate the support of Mayor Dan Drew; Mayor’s Chief of Staff Joe Samolis; Director of Planning, Conservation and Development Bill Warner; Public Works Director Bill Russo; and Environmental Specialist Matt Dodge who have kept this project alive through its many ups and downs, stops and restarts. We hope that after one more year, the boat launch will be finished and ready for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Jonah Center's annual paddle will take place next Saturday, June 22, launching from 46 Harbor Drive (Middletown H.S. boathouse on the CT River) at 11 a.m.. For more info on the paddle, click here. Paddlers will visit the new kayak launch site by water as part of the tour.