Fred Grimsey, one of the driving forces behind our Save Oswegatchie Hills Coalition, has been named Environmental Champion by Aquarion Water Company for his tireless efforts to protect and clean up the Niantic River and Bay.
Grimsey, a passionate environmentalist, founded Save the River-Save the Hills (STR-STH), a grassroots environmental non-profit organization that advocates to protect the Oswegatchie Hills and Niantic River watershed, in 2001.
This is the seventh year that Aquarion, the public water supply company for more than 625,000 people in 51 communities in Connecticut, has recognized adults, students, non-profit organizations and businesses for their volunteer projects that have significantly contributed to the improvement of environmental quality.
Grimsey was recognized for being instrumental in bringing marine sewage pump-out services for recreational boats to southeastern Connecticut shores 13 years ago and for making all of Long Island Sound a no-discharge zone for raw sewage. Last year alone, STR-STH’s pump-out boat kept 16,000 gallons of sewage out of the Niantic River and Long Island Sound.
Concerned that inadequate septic systems and pollution runoff were fowling Niantic River waters for swimming, a few years ago Grimsey started measuring bacteria levels in the river following rainstorms.
This year, Grimsey and STR-STH volunteers are joining forces with Save the Sound’s Unified Water Study. This groundbreaking water testing program will collect comparable data across Long Island Sound bays and harbors to measure the effects of nitrogen pollution and the incremental improvements achieved through sewer treatment plant upgrades. The destructive impacts of too much nitrogen in the water include algae blooms, red tides, loss of tidal marshes and fish die-offs.
STR-STH “Sound Sleuths” will be testing the Niantic River waters throughout the summer. See more about this citizen scientist effort at www.ctenvironment.org/uws
Our Oswegatchie Hills Coalition continues to grow –thanks to Middlesex Land Trust and Groton Open Space Association for joining us. Thanks, also, to people who are signing on, through our online form, at www.ctenvironment.org/oswegatchie, at the Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve kiosk, and businesses in East Lyme. Encourage your friends and neighbors to join our cause, hike the Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve, and paddle in STR-STH’s annual Niantic River Kayak Regatta on Saturday, August 19.