Weekly Update: Run, fish, run!

Jon Vander Werff and Nicolas Acuna Perales installed a funnel style fish trap on the West River in April and have been monitoring it for alewife and other local species throughout this year’s fish run.

The Spring Fish Run is Underway! 

Since 2005, Save the Sound has opened 107 river miles through multiple dam removal and fishway installation projects in the Long Island Sound region. While 107 miles is impressive, the true measurement of ecological impact comes from on-the-ground fish monitoring before and after a restoration project, a task that falls into the hands of fish biologist, Jon Vander Werff. 

“We need to understand how fish are using a system before we change the system,” says Vander Werff. “We trap fish to estimate the number and species of fish able to use a river as a highway, traveling upstream and downstream, or as a home. If those numbers are lower than expected, those findings can help initiate restoration efforts.” 

Counting fish is an essential part of the restoration efforts led by Save the Sound. This year, our fish trap on the West River in New Haven, CT was set in mid-April, and by the beginning of May caught over 66 alewife, a number promising another healthy fish run since monitoring efforts started in 2017. 

Read more on our blog.

What You Can Do This Week

  • Attend the public hearing on the Strong’s Boat Storage project in Southold, NY on Monday, May 15 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., 53095 Main Rd., Southold, NY or submit your written comments by that date. Details here.
  • Clean up your favorite spots – Join us Saturday, May 20, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Jennings Beach in Fairfield with HMTX Industries; or Sunday, May 21, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in Branford with Stony Creek Brewery and Branford Land Trust. Contact Annalisa Paltauf, cleanup coordinator, at apaltauf@savethesound.org to RSVP for the above cleanups or to learn how you can become a cleanup captain.
  • Join the Connecticut Coalition for Climate Action’s Day of Action at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Wednesday, May 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Members of the coalition will hold a press conference, followed by a legislative training and lobby day to push forward on climate and environmental justice legislative priorities. Don’t miss it! Register here for details and to reserve your spot.
  • Fight nitrogen pollution, if you’re a Long Island homeowner, by installing rain gardens, rain barrels, or other green infrastructure on your property and applying to the Long Island Garden Rewards Program – LIRPC for reimbursement of up to $500.
  • Find more events and opportunities on our Stay Engaged page! 

Right to left: CT Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD; Ruth Canovi, advocacy director of the American Lung Association in CT; Gabriela Campos, a New Haven-based activist; Gabriela’s son, Anakin; Mark Mitchell, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Climate, Energy, and Environmental Health Equity at George Mason University; and Lorena Venegas, an East Haven-based activist.

Calling for climate accountability and environmental justice on World Asthma Day 

Last week, we brought together health professionals and climate advocates from the American Lung Association, Connecticut Coalition for Climate Action (CCCA), and the Connecticut Health Professionals for Climate Action (CHPCA) for a press conference commemorating World Asthma Day. They were joined by Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani and State Senator Saud Anwar, both of whom highlighted the need to mitigate greenhouse gasses and air pollution to reduce rates of asthma and respiratory illnesses. Read more here. 

At the New York is Not Disposable Rally in Albany last Tuesday, David Ansel (left) met with Assemblymember Deborah Glick, chair of the Environmental Conservation committee.

New York is Not Disposable: Save the Sound on hand for Advocacy Day in Albany  

As New York legislators slogged toward the finish line of their longest budget marathon in 13 years, David Ansel was in Albany on Tuesday preparing for a different stretch run to come. There would only be 18 session days left in the legislative session by the time the Senate and Assembly passed the $229 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2024, and David, our vice president of water protection, had a list of priorities still to be addressed. The one that brought him to the Capitol to meet with environmental leaders and their staffs was the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act, which would require companies to reduce consumer packaging, reduce toxins used in packaging materials, support municipal recycling programs, and bear responsibility for end-of-life solutions for packaging. Sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, chair of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation committee, the bill is in committee, where it has been since March 15. It remains David’s goal to help that piece of legislation find its way into law before the New York legislative session ends on June 8. 

Quick Links 

Photo of the Week

Associate Soundkeeper Emma DeLoughry hauled in another 19 abandoned lobster pots off the floor of Long Island Sound on Friday in her latest outing as part of the Lobster Trap Removal and Assessment Partnership with The Maritime Aquarium and Project Oceanology. 

Would you like your photo to be featured in an upcoming issue? Send it to us at info@savethesound.org!

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Sunday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.
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