U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Press Release, February 12, 2019
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), applauded passage of his Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act, which will create a U.S. National Park Service protective designation for the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook, in the U.S. Senate on Thursday. With the protective designation as a “Wild and Scenic river,” the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook could receive as much as $100,000 in federal funding to assist volunteers and officials with conservation efforts. The river runs through ten towns: Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Canton, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury, and Windsor. The upper portion of the river was given protected status in 1994.
“This is a big win for Connecticut and a testament to good old fashioned Yankee persistence. I got to work on this bill as soon I got to Congress. Protecting the upper Farmington River and Salmon Brook with the ‘Wild & Scenic’ designation will unlock federal funds to help our conservation efforts. I want to make sure our children and grandchildren have access to clean water and recreation along the river for years to come,” said Murphy. “We couldn’t have gotten here today without all of the partners—Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Larson, former Congresswoman Esty, and all of the local residents who have advocated for this protection for years. I especially want to thank my predecessor in the House, Nancy Johnson, who began the work to designate and protect Farmington River. I’m looking forward to seeing this bill get over the finish line.”
Murphy first introduced the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives with then-Senator Joe Lieberman. The Senate previously passed the bill in 2016, but it did not pass in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The U.S. Senate also passed Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Wild and Scenic River Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and cosponsored by Murphy. The bill designates segments of the 300-square mile Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed, which includes rivers that cross North Stonington, Sterling, Stonington, and Voluntown, under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act as well.