[CT Birds] Resolution of the East River Boat Launch Access Issues

Kathy Van Der Aue kathyvda at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 11:05:55 EST 2016


Thank you Anthony.  I am very pleased we were able to accomplish something
in a cooperative spirit.  At this point some dispute about which side of
the road is best for the "standing for wildlife viewing" spaces.  Keith
felt there were photography reasons (lighting, using the car for a blind,
etc.) favoring the east side, but Paul Fusco believes the west side is
better.  We can have either side but not both.  If anyone else has an
opinion on this you can contact Paul Fusco.  No impact on the marsh is
allowed.  This IBA supports birds of high conservation priority and is
already degraded enough from the road and parking lot.  "Standing" means
you must stay with the car.  Birds before birders...


Kathy Van Der Aue
Southport, Connecticut
Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com

On Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 8:33 PM, Anthony Zemba <ajzemba at gmail.com> wrote:

> I agree with what James said.  Well done and thank you Kathy and Keith,
> Officer Torres, Jenny, Ann, Tom Tyler, Mike Payton, and all the others
> involved in working together to resolve this issue.
> Regards,
>
> Anthony Zemba
>
> On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 1:43 PM, James Winkelmann via CTBirds <
> ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
>
>> A fine example of what civil, positive dialogue can accomplish. Thanks
>> and commendations to all involved.
>>
>> James Winkelmann
>> Monroe
>>
>>
>> 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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>
>


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