Cleanup planned for Norwich waterfront

Norwich - The Harbor Management Commission has big plans to make the city waterfront a destination for fishing and recreational boating, with canoeing trails, fishing tournaments, a fishing blog, live fish migration cameras and cleaner river banks.

The effort begins Saturday with a volunteer cleanup party at 9 a.m. starting at Howard T. Brown Memorial Park, sponsored by Thayer's Marine & RV and avid local fisherman Matt Creamer. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Brown Park gazebo and wear boots, warm clothes "you don't mind getting dirty" and heavy work gloves, organizer and commission member Jerry Martin said.

Crews will be dispatched to three locations - the harbor, the Greeneville Dam and Yantic Falls area.

With cuts in state and local funding, the commission will rely on grants, fundraisers and low-cost promotional efforts. Using a $9,500 Long Island Sound Futures grant, the commission will produce laminated canoeing and kayaking river trails maps depicting river conditions, portage spots and features of note along the way. The grant also will pay for a display panel to be placed at Brown Park showing the canoe and kayak river routes, said commission consultant Geoff Steadman.

In the hopes of raising money to purchase a harbor camera and pay for other waterfront cosmetic improvements, the commission will hold its first fundraiser April 26 at the Bozrah Moose Lodge at 6 p.m. The event will feature a silent auction, raffles, live music and dinner. Tickets are $40 per person and will be available soon on the city's website at www.norwichct.org.

The city's new website already features a new fishing information center that will include waterfront events, fishing blogs and photos from local fishermen describing their experiences and fishing spots. The site could soon have a link to the live camera at the Greeneville Dam fish elevator.

For information or to volunteer for harbor activities, contact City Manager Alan Bergren's office at (860) 823-3750.

c.bessette@theday.com

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