It's a first. A successful watershed-wide “Planner’s Convening” with the help of SCCOG (SE CT Council of Governments) and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. All 6 jurisdictions were represented and, supported by research institutions, major non-profits and government granting agencies, we defined resilience, raised shared concerns, and brainstormed possibilities. We all agreed that we wanted to continue...our next convening is on October 2, where we will be discussing water quality.
Short version? We are beginning to think of the Mystic River Watershed as a single planning unit. Since the historic convening, all six jurisdictions have signed a letter of support and commitment to work together to keep the watershed safe.
We are in the pipeline for Sea Grant grant-writing support, with our sights set on a highly competitive NOAA Climate Resilience Regional Challenge Grant to help us create a robust Watershed & Resiliency Plan which will include a community-involved, accessible, complete "live" inventory of our assets and vulnerabilities and designs for how best to protect them.
Who was there: SCCOG*, CIRCA**, NERR***, Nature Conservancy, Save the Sound, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, North Stonington, Stonington, Ledyard, Groton, and most of our Board.
*SCCOG-Southeastern Council of Governments. Also know as "SECCOG," or "The Cog." In lieu of county governments, CT has COGs which help to facilitate regional knowledge and action. We work closely with them.
**CIRCA-UConn's CT Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation. One of our earliest allies.
***NERR-National Estuarine Research Reserve. Funded by NOAA, ours is one of the last of the NERR offices to be opened, officially after the convening, we are growing together with them and hope to be allied in the near future. We think we are an important part of their research area, particularly because of the Mystic River's impact on Long Island Sound and vice versa, but this relationship is still growing.