[CT Birds] Comment on Looming Plans to Massive Develop Silver Sands SP

Kathy Van Der Aue kathyvda at gmail.com
Mon Jul 10 12:58:02 EDT 2017

Thanks, Ron.  This area has been the subject of a very long lobbying effort
by many of us.  We have an article on the COA website written by Deputy
Commissioner Susan Whalen detailing the current plans:

COA was quite involved in the efforts to ameliorate the damage to wildlife
habitat and as a result of the efforts of the birding community we were
able to get them to forego paving the "sparrow lanes."  Small as these
victories are, this is just an example of how we need to pool our efforts
in a constructive manner.  If enough of us get involved they do seem to

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

On Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 12:23 PM, Parrot via CTBirds <
ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:

> Greetings,
> This address the characterization (mis) of plans for Silver Sands.  The
> Plans for this Park were developed over 10 years ago and were reviewed by
> DEP Divisions and the public at large and were approved.  In the Coastal
> Management Program I finally got Parks to agree to stay our of the wetlands
> and allow for the restoration of the degraded tidal marshes beginning via
> tidal flow restoration (new outlet) and abandoning the old outlet (small
> diameter pipe and culvert that drained the marsh and caused subsidence).
> Parks was between a rock and a hard place, Coastal Management wanted as
> much retention of stormwater through groundwater infiltration yet the could
> not punch through the impervious barrier covering the landfill.  So the
> swales between parking ‘lots’ are a means to maximize stormwater retention
> and minimize discharge to tidal wetlands which can often depress salinity
> and increase the area occupied by Phragmites.  We even convinced Parks to
> restore the former barrier beach (beach and dunes) which was formerly a
> state road that paves and bulkheaded.
> Portions of the landfill were proposed for recreational activities like
> fields.  Just one building to be constructed in the SE corner.
> The City of Milford was the cause of the delays in construction.  I
> believe they were hoping that the state would transfer the park to them.
> Absent the facilities, there was no justification to initiate access fee
> collection.
> Back in the late 1980’s, were able to convince Parks and Water Resources
> to address backwater flooding that occurred in Great Creek as the tide
> gates were usually blocked with sand.  This was a drainage improvement
> project and we recommended a new channel towards the west end and
> self-regulating tide gates to prevent flooding on the lowest lying cottage
> on the marsh side of the beach at elevation 3.25’.  We knew this wasn’t the
> ideal height but it did lead to significant restoration of large areas of
> this marsh.
> I have a copy of the 1960’s plan for this beach - that indeed was
> massive!  Coney Island style.
> Ron, Ashford
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