River tour presented at 60th Annual Meeting of Connecticut River Watershed Council

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of their ongoing work to clean up and preserve the Connecticut River watershed, the Council meet July 22 at the Wilder Center in Wilder, Vermont. Over sixty conservationists, officials and river stewards met for a review of all that has been accomplished and the new challenges ahead. Connecticut River Watershed Council Chairman Jim Okun led off the meeting. After annual business matters, Upper Valley River Steward David Deen introduced David Mears, Vermont's Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Mears' call to action in conservation was both well received - and a tough speech to follow. Andy Fisk, CRWC President, then introduced me for a slide show tour of the river from the Fourth Lake to Long Island Sound.

Al Braden presents slide tour of the Connecticut River at 60th Annual CRWC Meeting. To purchase prints, or license images for publication, see my PhotoShelter archives.

Photo Auction at 60th Annual CRWC Meeting

The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) will feature an auction of twelve framed prints from my book, The Connecticut River, A Photographic Journey Through The Heart of New England.

The photos show important images along the river's 410 mile journey from the New Hampshire/Quebec border to its mouth at Long Island Sound. All are approximately 11 x 14 image size, framed 16 x 20. All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the CRWC's conservation programs. See www.ctriver.org for complete auction details.

AB_002_040724_A15_Ct River Starts
Connecticut River Begins at Forth Connecticut Lake

Connecticut River on summer day at Orford, NH.

AB_021_020601_E13_Cornish Bridge_Morn
The Windsor/Cornish Covered Bridge is the longest in the United States at 449.5 feet. It was built in 1866 for $9,000 and is still in daily use.

AB_023_010721_E04_Bank at Charlestown
The Connecticut River shoreline, near Charlestown, NH, with overhanging shade, is a great place to pull ashore for lunch on a sunny day.

AB_056_020608_J37_Northfield Br_Dawn
The historic Schell Bridge in Northfield, MA presents a delicate image of a bygone era. A local group is busy raising funds to preserve the bridge as part of a hike and bike trail.

AB_060_010414_J02_Turners Over Close
The Connecticut River rushes over the top of Turners Falls Dam during the spring freshet. Scale is difficult to tell, but this torrent drops about thirty feet.

AB_066_010917_K08_Deerfield Valley
One of the best vantage points along the Connecticut River is from Mount Sugarloaf in South Deerfield, MA

The Oxbow in central Massachusetts looks like the heart of New England.

AB_085_010707_M01_Hartford Firework 1
Hartford's Riverfront Recapture celebrates our reconnection with this great river.

The Back River and Black Hall River join at Great Island in Old Lyme as they join the Connecticut at Long Island Sound.

AB_134_020705_U15_Saybrook Lights
The Saybrook Jetty LIght marks the end of the Connecticut River. It's been a landmark of the river since 1886.

The Connecticut River flows into Long Island Sound, completing its 410 mile long journey through New England.

Photo Tour of Connecticut River by Al Braden at 60th CRWC Annual Meeting

The Wildercenter in Wilder, VT will host the 60th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC). The meeting will convene Sunday July 22nd at 2 pm, with an opportunity to meet and discuss progress - and unfinished conservation business. Vermont's Governor Peter Shumlin will give his assessment of the Connecticut River's importance to New England.

I'll be giving a talk and showing photos from my book on the Connecticut River, with personal observations on both my experiences traveling the river and the important work to be done.

The CRWC has taken a lead role in river clean-up since the 1950's and today works on important issues of thermal pollution, sewage overflows, minimum flows, dam re-licensing as well as the - perhaps more enjoyable - issues of access and recreation. Find more information on the meeting, and this mission - at www.ctriver.org

Connecticut River Designated First National Blueway

Recognizing the critical importance of rivers and watersheds in our ecological balance, the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar designated the Connecticut River as the first National Blueway in ceremonies in Hartford, CT on May 24, 2012. He singled out the combined and cooperative efforts of many organizations to restore and protect the river over many years. Among the leading organizations noted are the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Silvio O. Conte Refuge, Connecticut River Museum, Nature Conservancy and Hartford's Riverfront Recapture. They, and dozens more, have worked tirelessly for decades to improve the river's quality and access. Major efforts remain, especially in the areas of thermal pollution, minimum flows and improved sewage treatment in the Massachusetts reach of the river.

Links to Secretary Salazar's press release is at: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/AMERICAS-GREAT-OUTDOORS-RIVERS-Secretary-Salazar-Creates-National-Blueways-System-Designates-Connecticut-River-and-Its-Watershed-as-First-National-Blueway.cfm

A good summary of the new is found at the Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2012/0529/Coalition-helps-the-Connecticut-River-become-the-first-National-Blueway

See the Connecticut River Watershed Council site for ongoing news and information: www.ctriver.org

New Photos of Spring Freshet added to stock archives.

I've added 52 new photos to my PhotoShelter stock image site from pictures taken this April during the spring freshet. Featured points along the river include Back River at Old Lyme, Weathersfield Cove and Hartford in Connecticut, Holyoke Dam and Turners Falls Dam in Massachusetts and Vernon Dam and Bellows Falls natural channel in Vermont. These are all searchable on the Photoshelter site. Here are a few of the selected photos from some of these points along the Connecticut River. The point is - this is natural spring high water - nothing out of the ordinary.

New Connecticut River Photo03

High water at the old warehouse (ca. 1790) at Wethersfield Cove. Normally, there is about 50 feet of beach between the cove and the warehouse.

New Connecticut River Photo04

Spring Freshet at Charter Oak Landing. The parkways are designed with the spring high-water in mind. These new parks along both sides of the river were designed and sponsored by Riverfront Recapture in Hartford's effort to reconnect to the Connecticut River as a great recreational treasure of the city.

New Connecticut River Photo05

The spring freshet moves through Turners Falls dam in northern Massachusetts. This site was once a prime gathering and fishing ground for Native Americans. After long use as a site for hydro-powered mills, the reservoir is a popular site for fishing and recreation - and home for a family of bald eagles.

New Connecticut River Photo06

The Connecticut River rushes through the natural channel in Bellows Falls, bypassing the dam and power canal that utilize all of the river's normal flows during the rest of the year.

New Connecticut River Photo01

Construction of new docks at Steamboat Landing in Essex, Connecticut. They serve the Connecticut River Museum and are launching points for many of the museum's sponsored tours of the river - including the February Eagle Cruises which show the many bald eagles who nest in the lower Connecticut River when the water is frozen up north. Osprey, the normal summer raptors in the area, migrate south in the winter.

New Connecticut River Photo02

Double sunset on the calm Back River in Old Lyme, Connecticut.