Esty, Murphy, Blumenthal, Larson Reintroduce Wild & Scenic Bill to Protect Lower Farmington River
WASHINGTON – Building on a nearly decade-long, community-driven effort, U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), joined by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative John Larson (CT-1), reintroduced their Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act to create a U.S. National Park Service protective designation for the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. With protective designation as a “Wild and Scenic River,” the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook – which runs through ten Connecticut towns – would be eligible to receive as much as $100,000 in federal funding to support conservation efforts.
“The Farmington River is an economic and environmental treasure for our state,” Esty said. “Families from across Connecticut and around the world travel to the Farmington River to enjoy the fishing, boating, and other recreational opportunities it offers. This bill is good for our communities, our economy, and our environment. By passing this bill, we can ensure that we preserve this environmental treasure for generations to come.”
“The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Act is the product of years of hard work by passionate Connecticut residents who want to protect the natural beauty of our state. Congress should listen to them,” said Murphy. “I started working on this issue as soon as I got to Congress nearly 10 years ago, and we haven’t stopped fighting for it. I hope we’ll get this over the finish line soon.”
“This measure will help protect and preserve the Farmington River—a truly wild and scenic treasure that brings both economic and recreational benefits. I am hopeful that my colleagues will come together to ensure this precious natural resource receives this designation and much-needed federal resources, so the Farmington River can be enjoyed by many generations to come,” said Blumenthal.
“The Farmington River and Salmon Brook are some of Connecticut’s most treasured resources that provide natural beauty, support ecological diversity, and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. I am pleased to join my colleagues in reintroducing this legislation to designate these rivers as ‘wild and scenic’. This designation is crucial in protecting this body of water for generations to come,” said Larson.
The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook runs through the following Connecticut 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.
Esty, Murphy, Blumenthal, and Larson have introduced similar legislation previously, and have continuously pushed for the Lower Farmington River’s Wild & Scenic designation. Last year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act for the first time ever. Former U.S. Representative Nancy Johnson, who was Murphy’s predecessor in the U.S. House of Representatives, helped enact legislation that initiated the study on which the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act is based. The study was completed in 2011 and confirmed the suitability of designating the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook as Wild & Scenic.