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Who Is The Alliance for the Mystic RIver Watershed? Meet Our Board, See What We've Done So Far...and What's Coming in '24

Who is the Alliance for the Mystic River Watershed? We are an all-volunteer organization bringing together people and organizations, towns (Ledyard, North Stonington, Groton, Stonington) and Tribal Nations (Mashantucket and Eastern Pequot) in a unity of effort to care for, repair, and strengthen life in our beautiful place. It costs nothing to join, but we may ask you to show up for learning, and action!

Our hard-working Board of Directors (Rahiem Eleazer, Lynne Marshall, Beth Greenleaf Kirmmse, Brenda Geer, Ethan King, Tara King Clark, Betsy Graham, Maggie Favretti), and Advisors (the Kids, Derrick Strong, Tim Clark, Mike Thomas, Millie Njeri White):

We built a foundation of friendships, with individuals of all ages, interests, and perspectives. We tapped into a surprisingly strong yearning to be working together--for the health and longevity of the (CT) Mystic River Watershed. We are growing so fast that it is hard to keep up. Over 200 individuals/families have signed up (it's free).

We can be resilient only to the extent our relationships are strong. We are allied with over 30 organizations and businesses who agree that we are fragile alone and resilient together. You can see some of them here:

This is a time to renew. To collect our thoughts and our energy, look at our footprints behind and prepare to step into the lengthening days with courage and and a shared sense of purpose. Here is what we saw when we looked back, organized according to the goals within our Mission of working together to restore, care for and protect life in the (CT) Mystic River Watershed:

In the month of January, we will facilitate a third Planners' Convening to firm up the horizon points toward which we can navigate together (none of which would be possible to get to alone). This will frame the backbone of our Mystic River Watershed Resilience Action Plan. At the same time, we will be assisting Stonington to plan for resilience through their Zoning Regs updates, coordinating the Plans of Conservation and Development 3:4 towns are updating, and working toward environmental justice regarding access to clean water and federal grants. We are deepening our relationships and honing our skills as conveners and creators of safe spaces for courageous collaborations and outrageous ideas.

Longer range next year, we are helping to bring alewife back to their natural spawning grounds in the deep ponds near the headwaters, and to protect those fragile ecosystems from hydrilla and other aggressive invasive species. We are co-creating a Youth Climate Summit, a Resilient Business Working Group, and Community Learning Sessions on Climate Change, on Community Co-design for Resilience, and on Regenerative Design and Development (which works with nature to replenish and restore the host environments).

We are only as resilient as our relationships are strong. We know we can achieve together what no town or Tribal Nation or person can do alone. To scaffold and coordinate our collective efforts, we are building the Mystic River Watershed Resilience Action Plan. This will include: Part I, a living Atlas-- a comprehensive and accessible repository of data of all kinds--our way of learning what the rest of our family here in the watershed is trying to tell us. Part II, an Ecological Health Plan and measurable commitments, and Part III, a Climate and Community Resilience Plan.

We could never have done as much as we did without the support of our organizational allies and our individual friends and contributors. We are an all-volunteer organization with big plans...and we need your help. This is the year of regeneration, and you can be a part of the movement. Help the fish find their way home!

With our gratitude for you, and warmest wishes for the year to come,

Your Alliance Board of Directors, Maggie Favretti, Ethan King, Brenda Geer, Beth Greenleaf Kirmmse, Rahiem Eleazer, Lynne Marshall, Tara King Clark, and Betsy Graham.

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