would like to thank the many volunteers who contributed their time and effort to our annual stream sampling effort Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday Oct. 16. Eighty-six volunteers including high school and college students, mothers and daughters, and local professionals helped assess water quality of the streams in the watershed by sampling the insects and other aquatic organisms living on the stream bottom. These animals are indicators of water quality. The “most wanted” will only be found where waters are cold and oxygen rich.
After a morning, indoor-training session, each volunteer team traveled to a stream site and collected and identified the animals caught in their stream samples. Sampling results look great (most teams identified a few “most-wanted” critters. The results will be verified by a Connecticut DEEP scientist. A state-wide report will be issued in early spring. These results will be incorporated into Connecticut’s state-wide stream quality assessments.
The Saugatuck River basin is southwestern Connecticut’s healthiest watershed. The Saugatuck River is a reference stream for the region; its water quality is used as a benchmark against which other streams in the region are compared. The watershed includes parts of eleven municipalities, draining from the hills of Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel and Newtown through Wilton, Redding, Easton, Norwalk, Weston, Westport and Fairfield.
The Nature Conservancy has been working to protect the health of this watershed since the early 1960s. Environmental health is being preserved through the collaborative efforts of municipalities, conservation groups, land trusts, businesses and citizens alike. We are fortunate to have this gem of a watershed, just 50 miles from New York City and especially fortunate to have so many people working to protect it.