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Call to Act: Flood Protection in Old Mystic?

Please come, Zoning Board of Appeals, Stonington Tuesday June 11, 7pm

Our best protection from intensifying rainstorms are our natural wetlands and the space around them so they can expand and manage the increasing quantities of water. This one at 16 Smith Street used to be full, edge to edge, of woody vegetation and native trees, soaking up hundreds of gallons of water per day as the wetland expanded to absorb stormwaters draining off of Quoketaug Hill, and providing nursery habitat for thousands of species of beneficial insects, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Most of the vegetation was cut down without a permit (the cutting of the remaining mature willows and red maple trees was approved), and the boundary of the wetland was drawn without being able to see indicative plants and before there was a single soil sample tested to determine how much water there is near the surface. While the soils here should drain well, what you see in the photos is that the water table is so high that the water can't go anywhere. There has been water in this basin since it was created.

The proposed house is in a double flood zone--both tidal and inland water flooding must be expected. In order to compensate for the impermeable surfaces of roofs, patio, driveway, by law there needs to be a Water Storage Basin to compensate and protect the neighborhood. The basin you see in the photo is so large because they could not make it deep—the water table is very high. From the time they created it in December until now, this basin is already full of water even after several dry days in a row. Neighbors are documenting increasing water levels in their basements and yards and excessive mosquito populations on the playgrounds.

The house plan was also approved, complete with a garage on a mound and specifications for fertilizers to be used on the grounds and in the wetlands' expansion area. The Inland Wetlands Commission said that consideration of flooding would be taken into account by the Planning and Zoning process, not by them. Has it??

Please come, especially if you live in Stonington or Groton, to the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting at the Stonington Police Station (173 South Broad St, Pawcatuck) on Tuesday June 11th at 7 pm and be counted and/or to speak to appeal the creation of additional hazards and vulnerabilities in historic Old Mystic.

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