Black Rock Harbor Water Quality Summit

Prior to the event, we were granted a tour of the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School lab where many ongoing studies are being conducted by the students that attend the school.

Organized by Peter Spain, Ash Creek Conservation Association (ACCA) and Save the Sound, the 1st Annual Black Rock Harbor Water Quality Summit was held with a packed house at the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School in Bridgeport, Connecticut on February 26, 2020. The summit gathered area residents, local officials and water quality experts to discuss the current conditions and future improvements in Black Rock Harbor and Bridgeport’s progress in addressing municipal sewage overflows and stormwater mitigation.

If you missed it, you can watch the entire summit here.

Peter Linderoth, Water Quality Program Manager for Save the Sound

The event started off with a presentation on preliminary Unified Water Study (UWS) water quality data and accompanying analyses by Peter Linderoth, Water Quality Program Manager for Save the Sound. The UWS is designed to assess the environmental health of Long Island Sound bays and harbors and the audience showed a clear desire to see the harbor water quality improve with locals wanting to get involved with the effort. The audience was presented the who, what, when and how of the study in addition to the results specific to Black Rock Harbor that will be packaged up in an upcoming Long Island Sound Report Card to be produced by Save the Sound.

Next up, Gail Robinson, president of Ash Creek Conservation Association (ACCA), presented Environmental Awards and Recognition to members of the UWS field team that monitors Black Rock Harbor who stepped up and delivered an exemplary season of water quality data. Awardees included a local resident, Kevin Blagys, as well as students and faculty from Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School.

Gail Robinson, far right, presenting awards to (left to right) teacher, Holly Turner Moore; students, Clayton Nyri, Sienna Matregarano, Lyle Given, Charlotte Hickey and project leader, Kevin Blagys.

The event continued with a presentation by Lauren Mappa, General Manager of the Bridgeport Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) who manages Bridgeport’s wastewater treatment facilities on the WPCA’s Actions and Projected Outcomes. Lauren presented technical plans to upgrade the facilities and details behind their actions which should result in a cleaner Black Rock Harbor and Long Island Sound coastal waters.

Finally, an engaging forum was held with a panel that consisted of Peter Linderoth, Roger Reynolds, Senior Legal Counsel and Bill Lucey, Soundkeeper, of Save the Sound; Lauren Mappa, WPCA;  and Ann Straut, Sanitary Engineer of CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). The public was very engaged and asked the panel members many questions about the current status and future of Black Rock Harbor water quality and management plans.

Peter Linderoth, Bill Lucey, Soundkeeper and Ann Straut, Sanitary Engineer of CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)

If you’d like to watch the entire summit, click here.

Save the Sound remains engaged in cleaning up the waters of Black Rock Harbor and will report out as things move forward. 

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