November Restoration Update: Climathon, Rye’s Blind Brook, and Data from CT Cleanup

Save the Sound Brings Living Shorelines Solutions to the New Haven Climathon 

Last weekend, over 140 people gathered at the John S Martinez School in Fair Haven for a mini conference on climate change consequences in New Haven and solutions to address them. Alex Rodriguez, environmental justice specialist, and Melissa Pappas, ecological communications specialist, joined the lineup of speakers and workshop facilitators to lead a conversation on elements of environmental equity and justice and coastal resiliency based on current Save the Sound projects. The event itself was hosted on October 29, the 10-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s disastrous impact on our region. The collaborative event brought experts in urban heat, sea level rise, food scarcity, and climate migration together with local artists and community leaders to share knowledge and propose solutions. Read more on our blog.

Graphic notes from the opening speakers at Climathon created by artist Raheem Nelson.

NYS DEC to Fund Study of Blind Brook Dam at Rye High School 

Save the Sound has been awarded $109,984 to initiate a dam removal feasibility study for the first dam on Blind Brook at Rye High School, in Rye, NY. The funding, provided through the Marine Habitat Tributary Restoration and Resiliency Grant funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will support Save the Sound in working collaboratively with the Rye City School District, Rye Sustainability Committee, City of Rye Conservation Commission Advisory Council, and Rye Nature Center to identify potential effects of removing the existing dam, locate upstream barriers to migratory fish, and conduct baseline water quality monitoring. Read more in our recent press release.

Blind Brook dam at the Rye High School in Rye, New York

The Data from Connecticut Cleanup is in: Top Three Trash Types Do More than Pollute 

This year, cigarette butts were the top trash type coming in at 17,769 collected across our state cleanups. They were followed by tiny pieces of plastic and food wrappers as the most common types of trash littering our beaches, parks and waterways.   

“Cigarettes are filled with a plastic called cellulose acetate, so they don’t fully break down,” says Annalisa Paltauf, cleanup coordinator. “The material is also full of toxins that leach into the ground when it rains or go into the ocean if they are left on the beach. Cigarette butts and the other types of tiny trash that once again topped our listhave also been found in the stomachs of birds, sea turtles and fish, directly harming our wildlife. They continue to be a major source of trash and contribute to many environmental and health issues. We urge people to pick them up when they see them.”

We thank all of our cleanup captains and volunteers who helped us keep Connecticut clean this season and look forward to seeing you out there again next year!

Data shown visually in bar graphs illustrate the three most common trash types collected during Connecticut Cleanup from 2021 and 2022.

Explore the Green and Blue Spaces of New Haven’s Fair Haven Neighborhood with our New Interactive Map 

As part of the Urban Waters Initiative’s Community Outreach, Engagement, and Leadership Program, we facilitated a community-based participatory research project using the PhotoVoice method, through which Fair Haven residents documented environmental hazards and assets in their neighborhood. The final photos of the project were showcased at the Fair Haven Public Library, Junta for Progressive Action, and Climathon at the John S Martinez School. Now, they are available online and in an interactive story map that takes you on a photo scavenger hunt through the neighborhood. Read more about this project on our webpage.

A screenshot of the interactive storymap with clickable photos from the final PhotoVoice exhibit.

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