Pequonnock River Draft Watershed Management Plan

Pequonnock River Initiative July 26, 2011

Today’s Agenda
• Background • Summarize Draft Plan • Begin Comment Period • Q&A After Presentation

Why Water Quality Matters
• Human Life and Healthy Communities Need Clean Water • Great Communities Develop Sustainable Water Resources • Focal Point for Urban/Suburban Community Collaboration • Regional Economic Prosperity

Watershed Management
• Flexible framework for addressing water quality issues within a defined watershed or drainage area
– Stakeholder involvement – Management actions supported by science – Multiple political jurisdictions – Prioritize limited financial resources – EPA and CTDEP watershed approach

Why Develop a Watershed Plan?
• Watershed activities affect water quality • Address water quality impairments • Develop and implement a comprehensive, science-based management plan • Improve chances of future funding and successful implementation

Statewide Trend Towards Watershed Planning

Pequonnock Watershed
• 29 square-mile area • 60 stream-miles • Areas of 5 towns • 10 subwatersheds
Shelton 3.5% Bridgeport 16.5% New tow n 0.4%
Upper West Branch Pequonnock Upper Pequonnock

Lower West Branch Pequonnock

Upper Booth Hill Brook

Lower Booth Hill Brook Middle Pequonnock Tributaries

Middle Pequonnock River

Trumbull 49.0%
Island Brook

Thrushwood Lake

Monroe 30.6%

Lower Pequonnock River

Issues Facing the Pequonnock River
• Water Quality in 80% of the river and in Bridgeport Harbor does not meet State standards for recreation or habitat
– Historical urban land use – Bacteria and other pollutants – Combined Sewer Overflows – Stormwater runoff

Other Issues Facing the Pequonnock River
• Flooding • Degraded habitat • Altered stream corridor • River “disconnected” from the public • Development pressure

Draft Watershed Management Plan
• Plan development process • Goals and objectives • Recommended actions • Site-specific project concepts • Pollutant load reductions • Responsible entities, timeframes, products • Funding sources
DRAFT

Action Plan Goals
3. Habitat Protection and Restoration 4. Sustainable Land Use & Open Space

2. Water Quality

1. Capacity Building

Watershed Action Plan

5. Education & Stewardship

Implement Plan to Improve / Preserve Conditions

Recommended Actions
• Over 100 specific actions • Timeframe
Ongoing
Year 2 Year 5 Year 10

ShortTerm Next 1-2 Years

Mid-Term 2-5 Years

Long-Term 5-10 Years

• Requires a coordinated effort by many groups • PRI, watershed organization, municipalities, businesses, land owners

Capacity Building
Goal: Build a foundation for successful implementation of the watershed management plan • Objective 1: Establish a watershed organization • Objective 2: Identify and secure funding • Objective 3: Promote regional collaboration • Objective 4: Continue watershed field assessments

Capacity Building - Highlights
• Municipal adoption of plan – MOA, inter-municipal agreement, compact • Form a watershed organization
– Partnership or coalition – Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency

• Prepare and submit grant applications • Develop web site and social media tools

Water Quality
Goal: Improve the water quality of the Pequonnock River, its tributaries, and Bridgeport Harbor • Objective 1: Continue monitoring programs • Objective 2: Use LID/GI to address stormwater & CSOs • Objective 3: Comply with existing permits • Objective 4: Protect and restore riparian buffers • Objective 5: Reduce septic system impacts • Objective 6: Reduce impacts from nuisance waterfowl • Objective 7: Identify and remove illicit discharges • Objective 8: Reduce pollution from hotspots

Water Quality Monitoring Program
• Establish ongoing monitoring program • Continue monitoring at Harbor Watch/River Watch and CT DEEP stations • Expand monitoring to other reaches • Consider RBV monitoring • Involve volunteers, students, local universities • Seek dedicated funding

Stormwater Management
• Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure • Implement stormwater retrofits • Require LID for new development and redevelopment

LID and Green Infrastructure

Vegetated Swales

Parking Lot Bioretention

Green Streets

Permeable Pavement

Stormwater Planters

Curbside Bioretention

Rain Harvesting

Blue Roofs

Green Roofs

Green Infrastructure for CSO Control
• CSO LTCP – augment grey with green • Build on City’s existing initiatives
– Green Streets – Urban forestry and City parks – B-Green rain barrel program – CFE “Green Scan” Project – Regulatory updates to promote GI and LID

Protect and Restore Stream Buffers
• Implement priority stream buffer restoration projects • Adopt local stream buffer requirements
◄ Upper West Branch

Williams Road, Trumbull ►

◄ Upper Pequonnock River

Upper West Branch ►

Habitat Protection and Restoration
Goal: Protect and improve terrestrial, riparian, and aquatic habitat in the watershed to maintain and increase the watershed’s diversity of plant and animal species
• Objective 1: Protect and restore in-stream and riparian habitat • Objective 2: Protect and restore forests and urban tree canopy • Objective 3: Control invasive species • Objective 4: Reduce illegal dumping locations

Fisheries and Stream Restoration
• Protect and restore aquatic and stream corridor habitat
– Remove stream barriers (Pequonnock River Apron Fishway project, Bunnell’s Pond Dam eel pass modifications) – Implement priority stream erosion and restoration projects

Source: Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program

Improve Fish Passage
◄ LPR-07 River Apron Fishway

Small dam on UBH-01 ►

◄ Drop at road crossing

Homemade Barrier ►

Restore Eroded Streams

▲UBH-03 ▼UPR-05

▲ UBH-04 ▼ UBH-01

Protect and Restore Forests and Tree Canopy
• Consider developing local tree protection ordinances
– Hartford Tree Ordinance – NYC Million Trees Initiative

• Implement reforestation/tree canopy demonstration projects • Bridgeport Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Analysis

Sustainable Land Use and Open Space
Goal: Promote sustainable growth and appropriate development in the watershed while preserving and improving the watershed’s natural resources, providing public access to open space, and addressing current and future flooding problems
• Objective 1: Promote sustainable growth and economic development • Objective 2: Address flooding issues • Objective 3. Protect and acquire open space • Objective 4. Continue development of a greenway network • Objective 5. Increase public access to the river corridor

Strengthen Land Use Regulations
• Stream Buffers • Stormwater Management • Tree Protection • Groundwater and Drinking Water Supplies • Open Space • Consider formation of Regional WPCA
– Reduce or eliminate septic systems – Potential mechanism for regional stormwater utility

Link Green Spaces and Increase Access to River
• Complete Pequonnock Valley Regional Bikeway
– Context-sensitive – LID and conservation design

• Increase public access to river

Source: USDA, 2008

Knowlton Park, Bridgeport

Site-specific Retrofit and Restoration Concepts

Retrofit Screening Approach
• Retrofit Types
– Green Infrastructure – Low Impact Development – Buffer Restoration – Stream Restoration

• Selection Factors
– Proximity to streams – Public land ownership – High visibility, “demonstration” value – Applicability to other areas of watershed

• Address pollutants through treating and infiltrating stormwater • Focus - Bacteria

Wolfe Park, Monroe

Wolfe Park, Monroe

Wolfe Park, Monroe

Wolfe Park, Monroe

Wolfe Park, Monroe

Wolfe Park, Monroe

Trumbull Library

• Centrally-located • Landscaped grounds with dense tree canopy • Site shared with Town Hall • More dedicated parking desired, but expansion would impact tree canopy • Town representatives working to strike a balance between parking, trees, stormwater, and cost

Trumbull Library

Trumbull Library – Parking Expansion

Source: Donald Watson, FAIA Architect

Trumbull Library – Tree Box Filter

Source: Hydro International, Inc.

Old Mine Park, Trumbull

• Small impoundment on the Pequonnock River • Once a popular swimming hole • Poor riparian buffer • Recent dredging performed without appropriate BMPs (perimeter controls installed later)

Old Mine Park, Trumbull

Old Mine Park, Trumbull

Old Mine Park, Trumbull

Beardsley Park and Zoo
• • Connecticut’s only zoo High-profile location with variety of retrofit candidates
– Parking areas – Buildings – Access/park roads – Narrow buffer along Bunnell’s Pond

Existing rain garden constructed as part of a NEMO workshop

TRAFFIC ISLAND RETROFIT

Beardsley Zoo – Traffic Island Retrofit

Beardsley Zoo – Traffic Island Retrofit

Bridgeport City Hall
• High-profile location in dense neighborhood downtown • 70% effective impervious cover in surrounding subwatershed • High demand and daily turnover in parking

Bridgeport City Hall

Bridgeport City Hall

Green Street / Complete Street

Green Street / Complete Street

Site-Specific Concept Costs
Concept
Wofle Park Stepney Elementary School Bart Shopping Center Beardsley Park Beardsley Zoo Bridgeport City Hall Complete Street Trumbull Library Knowlton Street Park Old Mine Park

Estimated Cost
$411,000 $453,000 $485,000 $766,000 $186,000 $305,000 $251,000 $392,000 $434,000 $283,000 $288,000 $318,000 $340,000 $536,000 $131,000 $213,000 $175,000 $274,000 $304,000 $198,000

Range
$618,000 $681,000 $730,000 $1,149,000 $280,000 $459,000 $377,000 $589,000 $652,000 $426,000

Watershed Management Plan – Next Steps
• Comment Period • Public Release of Final Plan • Begin / continue implementing the Plan August 16 September

Comments on Draft Plan
Draft Plan Available for Download:
http://www.bridgeportct.gov/HowdoI/Pages/ReportsPublications.aspx (Reports and Publications page)

Submit Comments To:
Chris Cryder Save the Sound 203.787.0646 ext. 127 ccryder@savethesound.org Erik Mas, P.E. Fuss & O’Neill, Inc. 800.286.2469 ext. 4433 emas@fando.com

DRAF T

Comments Requested By:
August 16, 2011

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