OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold gave LymeLine.com an update Wednesday via e-mail on the presentation scheduled Saturday on the Old Lyme Regional Wastewater System. The event will be held at 10 a.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.
Griswold advised that it will be hosted by the heads of the three private beach associations and Sound View Beach Association, and the chairs of the respective Water Pollution Control Authorities (WPCA).
Griswold stressed that this informational meeting is, “an update for beach residents and others.”
He added, “We think an update before seasonal residents head back home is a wise thing.”
Griswold also clarified that, “A number of distinguished guests [Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th), State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd)] have been invited but only State Sen. Formica has responded – he will attend via phone. The US Senators have worked on trying to secure funding.”
Griswold reported previously in his Aug. 19 newsletter to residents that State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) is unable to attend.
Questions regarding the project can be submitted in advance to [email protected] for review by the committee. A panel will then select questions to be answered at the meeting and at the end of the presentation, the selected questions will be answered.
There will be no open Q&A after the presentation.
Griswold commented, “This is a very complex and expensive project. It includes not only sewers but storm water drainage and road repaving. The sewer shared assets went out to bid twice and, due to the very high cost, had to be rejected. We believe additional outside funding must become available for the entire project to be viable.”
The meeting will start with the introduction of the four WPCA entities involved with the project.
Then the following guests will make comments:
- State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) — by phone
- Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold (R)
The next agenda item will be a PowerPoint presentation regarding the project.
The final item will be a review of the selected questions regarding the project, which were submitted in advance. questions.
To attend this session virtually, visit https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m7bb8ab96d52e54ddb27ed079eb689dfc or dial +1-408-418-9388 and enter access code: 2343 721 4416.
Second Annual LOLFSG Open House Slated for Saturday, Sept. 24, All Welcome
OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden (LOLFSG) celebrated a milestone this week!
Following a much-needed rain event, mid-week volunteers harvested kale, tomatoes, string beans, peppers, eggplants, and more. In doing so, the garden reached a total donation threshold of more than 2000 pounds of produce in its first growing season.
The LOLFSG President Jim Ward commented, “This incredible accomplishment is due to the dedication of volunteers and community support.”
Ward noted that the realistic LOLFSG goal for the 2023 season is to double production and is already looking forward to a “Two-Ton Tuesday.”
To celebrate the successful inaugural growing season and to learn more about the garden, all are invited to visit the 2nd Annual LOLFSG Open House on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the garden from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The garden is located at Town Woods Park behind the Field House and playground.
OLD LYME — Old Lyme’s Planning Commission will hold a Special Meeting/Public Hearing tomorrow evening, Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, there are only two items on the agenda and since it is a Special Meeting, no changes or addition to the agenda can be made.
The first agenda item is the continuation of the Public Hearing regarding the application by Keystone Capital Corporation for the resubdivision of 16 Neck Rd. into nine lots.
The second item, assuming the Public Hearing is closed, is for members of the board to discuss and then possibly vote on the proposal.
The land at 16 Neck Rd. is the same area where the HOPE Partnership endeavored to secure approval for a 37-unit Affordable Housing development back in 2018, which became a highly controversial topic in the community.
The new proposal is for a gated community of nine building lots.
Both the OL Open Space Commission and the Connecticut River Gateway Commission have submitted letters for consideration at tomorrow’s meeting to the Planning Commission. Both letters can be viewed in full at the links given above.
The Open Space Commission’s letter, signed by its co-chairs Amanda Blair and Evan Griswold, states, “It appears that no open space is indicated on the applicant’s plan and, even if land were set aside, the gated premises to be accessed by private roadway would not afford public access.”
The letter continues, “In accordance with the provisions of C.G.S. § 8-25, when there is not a suitable area within a subdivision and when there are other areas with Town that the Open Space Commission considers more beneficial to be preserved, the Planning Commission may authorize the applicant to pay a fee in lieu of open space of up to 10% of land’s pre-subdivision appraised value.”
The two-page letter proposes that, although, “It is the Planning Commission’s discretion to determine such payment,” the Planning Commission should request the 10 percent fee of the purchase price from the developer, which it states, “… would equal $105,010.”
These monies would then be used by the Open Space Commission to assist in the purchase other open space properties in the town as they arise. The letter explains, “Although we cannot identify the specific parcels, we will report to you that the Open Space Commission is now actively talking to or considering approaching the owners of at least four properties in Town for acquisition.”
Asked about the possibility of the Open Space Commission receiving a fee in lieu of the absence of open space in a building proposal, Griswold responded in a phone conversation with LymeLine that, “This has happened before,” citing the example of a proposed development on Binney Rd. submitted, “around three years ago.”
He added, however, that a similar previous request by the Open Space Commission regarding a proposed development on Mile Creek Rd. was declined by the Planning Commission on the basis it was, “a family-oriented subdivision.”
The CT River Gateway Commission four-page letter, signed by the Deputy Director of the River COG [Council of Governments] Staff, Gateway Commission Torrance Downes, describes the property at 16 Neck Rd. as “a highly visible riverfront parcel.”
In summary the letter says, “The Gateway Commission would recommend such an [Conservation] easement be placed along the banks of the Connecticut River at the western end of the property.”
It goes on to request that the Planning Commission should, “… use all of the regulatory tools available in its decision-making process to manage the development of the site – at least with respect to the western hillside of the property facing the Connecticut River.”
The letter continues, “Protection of natural areas including mature tree stands is recommended for consideration of open space designation,” noting, “Retention of an attractive and rural community appearance, which would include the treed hillsides of the Connecticut River, should be “one of the most important criteria used in land use decision making”.”
Concluding, “Community Appearance recommendations state visual details including preservation of natural site features and vistas are critical components of the town character Old Lyme is charged with protecting,” the letter notes, “Preserving and maintaining the tree cover on the river-facing side of this property is consistent with these … recommendations.”
Members of the community can address either or both of these issues during the Public Hearing or submit letters or emails to the Old Lyme Land Use Department prior to the meeting.
“Conduct Us” October 2, 2022, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, Hygienic Art Park
On Sunday, October 2 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., members of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra will be located at Hygienic Arts waiting to perform, all they need is a conductor. The general public will have a chance to conduct In the Hall of the Mountain King, Blue Danube Waltz, Toreador Song from Carmen, Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld, and William Tell Overture (The Lone Ranger Theme.) Everyone is invited to step up to the podium and try their hand at conducting the orchestra. Our Music Director and Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada will be there to give guidance and encouragement to the volunteer maestros!
Hygienic Art is located at 79 Bank Street, New London. This unique experience is free and open to the public in the outdoor Frank Loomis Palmer Amphitheater. Pack a lunch or enjoy takeout from the many eateries on Bank Street and come enjoy a gorgeous fall afternoon with us. Families and children are welcome and encouraged.
“Conduct Us” started when the ECSO participated in the international Make Music Day movement, which brings free, community-wide, outdoor musical celebrations to hundreds of cities worldwide! We last held this fun community event in Mystic River Park and we are delighted to bring it to New London.
LYME — On Sunday, Oct. 2, join Pete Picone, Connecticut DEEP wildlife biologist and native habitat expert, for a tour of the meadow and surrounding shrubland in Jewett Preserve.
The meadow walk, which is co-sponsored by the Lyme Land Trust, Lyme Pollinator Pathway and the Town of Lyme, will start at 1:30 p.m. and last until 3:30 p.m.
Meet at the Jewett Preserve in Lyme, Conn. Park in the lot on McIntosh Rd, about 1/4 mile from the intersection with Rte. 156.
During the tour, Picone will make recommendations for nurturing the vegetation that provides habitat for wildlife. Learn about which plants are beneficial for pollinators, and how to manage invasives. His guidance can be applied to enhancing habitat in your own back yard.
Registration is required at [email protected].
OLD LYME — The final Hikers’ Happy Hour of 2022, sponsored by the Open Space Commission, the Old Lyme Land Trust, and the Old Lyme Inn, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
A guided hike will leave at 4:15 p.m. from the Bunny Hutch behind the Old Lyme Inn to explore the Champlain North Preserve.
After the hike, a friendly happy hour at the Old Lyme Inn will follow from 5 to 7 p.m. Drinks will be half-price from 5 to 6 p.m.
Even if you do not hike, you are still welcome at the Inn for Happy Hour.
Hikers should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring insect repellent.
In the event of rain, meet at the Old Lyme Inn for Happy Hour instead of the Bunny Hutch.
Information on the Champlain South Open Space and its trails may be found at: https://www.oldlyme-ct.gov/
OLD LYME — On Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Old Lyme Land Trust hosts a Free Outdoor Workshop at Watch Rock Preserve with local artist Barbara Barry.
Nature Journaling with watercolor and pen!
Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 9.
All materials provided or bring your sketchbook and paints as we capture the beauty of the Watch Rock Preserve in watercolor and pen.
Meet at the Watch Rock Preserve at the parking lot at 10 a.m. and we will all walk in together. (Off Rte. 156 at Joel Road)
Bring a lightweight chair or blanket to sit on, there are a few tight turns so no rolling bags. Also bring bug spray/sunscreen/hat/water/snacks – whatever you need to feel comfortable carrying and sitting on.
Donations are encouraged.
OLD LYME — Learn to row Irish … remember, you don’t need to be Irish to row Irish!
Readers are invited to try out the ancient art of Irish Currach Rowing, Saturday, Oct. 15, at Hain’s Park, Rte. 1/Boston Post Rd. in Old Lyme from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Send an email to reserve your time: 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30 a.m., 12:00 or 12:30 p.m. to [email protected]
An Irish currach is a traditional vessel made of wood lathe and covered in canvas. Currachs date back several thousand years. They were used for trade among islands, between islands and mainland and along coastal mainland villages. The relatively light (for their size) fishing/trade boats, which could withstand high swells, have been streamlined in design for rowing competitions.
Veteran and newcomer rowers are all welcome. Pre-register before Oct. 15. You will be required to sign a waiver.
Request the forms from [email protected]. Pre-register and also take an introductory lesson to receive a free team t-shirt.
The organizers suggest that attendees should bring gloves.
There is no obligation to join the group — simply come and try out currach rowing.
For more information, contact [email protected]
This event is sponsored by New London Currach Rowers with support from the Ancient Order of Hibernians of New London County and the Irish Coastal Club, the New London Maritime Society/New London Custom House and Forty Thieves Irish Pub.
The dramatic amount of large plastic material that has been introduced into our rivers, bays and oceans has been well documented, and the harm this material can cause to marine organisms is well known to conservationists. Billions of pounds of plastic have been found in about 40 percent of the world’s oceans, an amount that could outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
This pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife. Thousands of marine mammals such as seabirds, seals and sea turtles are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it. Moreover, these macro-plastics also fragment into micro-plastic particles via weathering and UV degradation. According to one report, over 99 percent of plastic that entered the ocean since 1950 has sunk below the first few hundred feet of the ocean. There are 10,000 times more microplastics on the seafloor than in the polluted surface waters.
These small particles can also interact with marine animals, especially those that filter feed. The uptake and accumulation of microplastics by filter-feeding, bottom-dwelling animals such as bivalves, is not clear. Equally unclear is whether ingestion of microplastics by filter feeders results in toxicological effects. This is the focus of Dr. Ward’s research.
In his presentation, Dr. Ward will discuss the current understanding of plastic pollution in the ocean and its interactions with marine animals. He will present his research into the capture, ingestion, rejection and elimination of microplastics by commercially important bivalves. The goal of this work is to understand uptake of microplastics by marine animals, identify a robust bioindicator for plastic particles in the ocean, and examine the potential for transfer of microplastics through the food chain.
The free program will be interactive with an opportunity for participants to ask questions. There is no charge, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, visit https://www.ctaudubon.
Professor and Head, Department of Marine Sciences, UConnDr. Ward is an experimental biologist whose research interests are directed toward an understanding of the dynamic interactions between marine animals and their environment. Using an integrative approach, he directs his students in the study of processes ranging from the organism to the ecosystem level.
He is particularly interested in the behavior and physiology of benthic, particle-feeding invertebrates. Much of his research focuses on commercially important bivalves (e.g., clams, mussels, oysters), which are key components of most coastal ecosystems. These animals provide vital ecosystem services and are an important link between oceans and human health.
About the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center:
Named for the renowned artist, scientific illustrator, environmental educator, and conservation advocate, Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is known for its work in environmental education, conservation, research, and advocacy. The center is dedicated to facilitating scientific research, establishing high-quality environmental education for children, teens and adults, and promoting outreach and advocacy to preserve, protect and conserve the estuary and its beauty for generations. From it’s 5.25-acre site on the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme, the Center serves young people and adults across the region in person and virtually, offering small group programs like bird walks and owl prowls, a CT River ecological expeditions course, citizen scientist activities, vacation and summer camp programs and a curriculum-based Science in Nature program for schools in Southeastern Connecticut.