The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation recently announced $445,600 in grant awards from its Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund. Grants were awarded to 7 projects across the upper Connecticut River watershed.
Grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust of Sugar Hill, NH, received a $5,000 award to develop a program of private voluntary stream corridor conservation in the lower Ammonoosuc watershed.
- Connecticut River Watershed Council of Greenfield, MA, received $218,100 to continue several aquatic and terrestrial-habitat restoration projects along Oliverian & Eastman brooks, and along the Waits & Wells rivers.
- New Hampshire Fish & Game Department was awarded $22,500 for purchase of a 95.5-acre parcel along the Upper Ammonoosuc River in Stark, NH.
- Vermont Land Trust of Montpelier received a grant of $65,525 for conservation of a 70-acre parcel along the Connecticut River adjacent to the Guildhall Swamp Preserve in Guildhall, VT.
Vermont River Conservancy of Montpelier, VT, was awarded 3 grants:
- $12,300 to complete legal research, landowner outreach, and court actions necessary to clarify ownership and lay the groundwork for future acquisition of Fiddlehead Island in the Connecticut River in Monroe, NH;
- $38,200 for conservation of a river-corridor easement on a 32-acre parcel along the Nulhegan River in Bloomfield, Vt.
- $83,975 for purchase of a 70-acre parcel at the confluence of the East Branch and main stem of the Nulhegan River in Bloomfield, Vt.
A 12-person advisory committee, made up of representatives of environmental organizations, state and federal agencies, local community groups and TransCanada Hydro Northeast, recommends grants from the fund to support restoration, protection, and enhancement of the river, wetlands, and shore lands within the upper Connecticut River watershed (upstream of White River Junction).
Over a 15-year period, the fund is expected to provide approximately $21 million for these projects. This is the 12th round of grants awarded from the fund. The fund was created as part of the settlement agreement between the parties involved in the federal process to award a new operating license for 3 hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River at Fifteen Mile Falls near Littleton, NH, and Ryegate, VT. The settlement agreement, signed in 1997, involved a collaborative process in which representatives of state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, the local community and the dams’ owner worked to accomplish a settlement to define the new license for Fifteen Mile Falls. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a new license to operate the dams in April of 2002. Under this agreement, dam owner/operator TransCanada Hydro Northeast contributed a portion of the annual profits from dam operations to the fund.