‘The Future of Connecticut River’ will be the topic of the featured speaker at the annual meeting of Friends of Whalebone Cove on Sunday, March 26, at 4 p.m. in Hadlyme.
Stephen Gephard, supervising fisheries biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Inland Fisheries Division in Old Lyme, will present a program in which he reviews the history of the Connecticut River since pre-colonial times and offers his predictions on how the River will be used in the 21st century.
Gephard is well known in conservation circles up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
In 2014, then President Barack Obama appointed him as commissioner of the Council of North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, an international body established by an intergovernmental convention in 1984 that seeks to restore and manage Atlantic salmon populations.
And last year the Northeastern Division of the American Fisheries Society (NED) presented him with the its NED President’s Award.
Throughout his 30+ year career with Connecticut DEEP, Gephard has advocated for the restoration of habitat of diadromous fish across the state, region, nation and world, and continues to work for the benefit of the species he manages.
Friends of Whalebone Cove was formed last year by area residents to help government and private conservation agencies protect the fragile eco-systems in Hadlyme’s Whalebone Cove, which is listed as one of North America’s important freshwater tidal marshes in international treaties that cite the Connecticut River estuary as a wetland complex of global importance.
A representative from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Silvio O Conte Refuge will also give a short presentation on the Conte Refuge’s new Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Much of Whalebone Cove and the surrounding upland is part of the Conte Refuge.
The Friends of Whalebone Cove annual meeting is open to the public, both members and non-members. It will be at Hadlyme Public Hall, One Day Hill Road, Lyme. Refreshments will be served.