Ledyard, Preston officials sign Poquetanuck Cove agreement

After a yearlong brainstorming and planning effort, top officials from Ledyard and Preston will sign a unique inter-town agreement Friday that will enable actions to preserve Poquetanuck Cove to move forward.

Jean Pillo, watershed conservation coordinator for the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District, said the agreement is significant because it will support grant applications that will pay for projects to carry out a conservation plan for the cove, a unique freshwater tidal marsh on the Thames River.

"This is critical to getting grant support," Pillo said Wednesday.

During ceremonies at 1 p.m. at the state boat launch at Royal Oaks Drive in Led yard, Preston First Selectman Robert Congdon and Led yard Mayor John Rodolico will sign the Poquetanuck Cove Conservation Action Plan Intermunicipal Agreement.

Contents of the plan were developed during workshops with local residents, local officials and conservation professionals over the past year. The group identified the most significant threats to the cove and developed strategies to reduce those threats. The conservation district oversaw the effort, which was funded by the Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

Pillo said the plan has been adopted by the Ledyard Planning and Zoning and Conservation commissions and the Preston Conservation Commission, and will be incorporated into the plans of development for both towns.

Also during Friday's ceremony, the boat launch will be renamed in honor of William Haase IV, the former Led yard town planner who was instrumental in initiating efforts to enhance protection of the cove, Pillo said. Haase died last year.

"It was his effort that got the state to take 35 acres from the former Norwich Hospital property and make it a boat launch," Pillo said.

Also during the ceremony will be the ribbon-cutting for a native plant garden created at a site next to the boat launch by the Ledyard Garden Club and the Ledyard Conservation Commission. The project, which involved the removal of invasive plants in the area, is intended to be a model for property owners around the cove.

After the ceremonies, refreshments will be served at the Brookside Cafe. Participants are invited to bring their own boats to paddle the cove after the ceremonies.

For more information, call Pillo at (860) 928-4948 ext. 605.


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