[CT Birds] Fwd: Resolution of the East River Boat Launch AccessIssues

Carolyn Johns carolyn.f.johns-emp at snet.net
Sat Feb 13 11:07:40 EST 2016


Kathy,

    What a great job!!  It is heartwarming( on this very cold day), to see 
that we can address issues around the birding community with the state 
officials and with good results.....

-----Original Message----- 
From: Keith Mueller via CTBirds
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2016 10:17 AM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: [CT Birds] Fwd: Resolution of the East River Boat Launch 
AccessIssues


>
> Thank you Kathy, I appreciate all your hard work on this matter. Meeting 
> with the State officials and their willingness to work with us will 
> certainly benefit the birding community.
>
> This was a big step in the right direction,
>
> Thank you again,
>
> Keith mueller
>
>
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Feb 13, 2016, at 8:22 AM, Kathy Van Der Aue via CTBirds 
>> <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
>>
>> Keith Mueller and I met Thursday afternoon with Mike Payton of the 
>> Boating
>> Division, Jenny Dickson and Ann Kilpatrick of the Wildlife Division and 
>> Officer
>> John Torres of the Environmental Conservation Police to discuss the East
>> River Boat Launch site access issues.  We all agreed that the parking lot
>> sign limiting parking to boat trailers etc. was misleading and they have
>> agreed to remove the sign and replace it with signs designating certain
>> parking spaces for boat trailers.  The remaining spaces will be for 
>> public
>> parking on a first come, first served basis. They also plan to put in
>> concrete parking bumpers to try and organize the parking in the lot as
>> spaces are undesignated right now.  The confusing signage will also be
>> changed in other lots, such as the Great Island lot, over time.
>>
>>
>>
>> We additionally discussed the possibility of having a few spaces along 
>> the
>> wider part of the access road designated for standing only (so a person
>> could sit in the car with binoculars and survey the Saltmarsh Sparrows).
>> Upon measuring the road and finding that this would be possible as the 
>> road
>> was 28 feet wide, it was agreed that this could also be done.  There will
>> be absolutely no parking on the other side of the access road.  Given a
>> choice of which side of the road to designate for standing spaces, we 
>> chose
>> the side which allowed the driver's side to have the best viewing (the
>> right side as you go in toward the lot).  These spots will be on the
>> portion of the road which is a little more elevated to reduce the
>> possibility of flooding. The area will be clearly marked with signs that
>> indicate only standing “parking” for wildlife viewing will be allowed and
>> it must be between the signs. Having a designated section will help 
>> address
>> concerns about emergency access and prevent the creation of pinch points 
>> at
>> sections where the access road narrows.
>>
>>
>>
>> They ask for our patience as they need several layers of approvals in 
>> this
>> tight budget year for ordering the signs and concrete parking bumpers, 
>> but
>> expect it can be accomplished this spring.  As of now it is my
>> understanding that the lot can be used for parking without fear of 
>> drawing
>> attention from the EnCon police.   As to "Standing" along the access 
>> road,
>> it is still marked "No Parking" on both sides.  Until the signs are 
>> changed
>> the situation is in flux and I ask you to respect the signs.  I suspect
>> Officers would use their discretion if there was some exciting rarity 
>> that
>> drew birders to the spot before the signs are changed, but they would not
>> be legally required to do so.
>>
>>
>>
>> Please let me know of any further concerns that you may have about this
>> issue.  I am personally very grateful that our concerns were met with 
>> such
>> respect by Mike Payton and am very happy with the result.  Jenny Dickson
>> and Ann Kilpatrick were understandably concerned that the marsh not be
>> infringed upon as it is valuable habitat for high conservation priority
>> species such as the Saltmarsh Sparrow.  Officer John Torres was concerned
>> with access for emergency vehicles if there are cars standing alongside 
>> the
>> access road but he agreed that the width of the road was sufficient for
>> emergency access.  I believe these concerns are valid and ask all of you 
>> to
>> be most careful when using these areas to be sure not to block emergency
>> access or infringe upon the marsh.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks to Keith for bringing this matter to COA's attention.
>>
>> Kathy Van Der Aue
>> ​, President, COA>>
>> Southport, Connecticut
>> Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com
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