Grantee: City of East Hampton
Project Area: Easthampton Wastewater Treatment Plant on the Connecticut River, Massachusetts
LISFF Grant: $883,475Grantee Matching Funds: $294,000Total Conservation Impact: $1,177,475
Replace mechanical aerators and modify the secondary aeration system at the Easthampton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Massachusetts. Project will eliminate 12,240 pounds nitrogen annually discharged from the plant into the Connecticut River and then downstream to the Long Island Sound.
The City of Easthampton will replace four existing mechanical aerators and make operational modifications to the secondary aeration system at the Easthampton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Massachusetts. The plant receives wastewater from the neighboring communities of Northampton, Southampton, and Holyoke and discharges treated sewage into the Connecticut River which flows downstream to Long Island Sound. Although nitrogen pollution from such discharges has decreased with plant upgrades around the Sound excess nitrogen remains an issue and contributes to harmful algal blooms, impacts fish and wildlife, degrades wetlands, and reduces public enjoyment of the Sound. The plant constructed in the 1940s and last upgraded in the 1970s has wastewater treatment equipment operating well beyond its expected service life. The project will replace this outdated equipment with upgrades that more efficiently remove nutrients and reduce energy use and cost and provide a carbon reduction of 43 tons annually. The new aerators and system upgrades will decrease discharges of 12,240 pounds nitrogen each year into the upper basin of the Sound’s watershed improving the health of downstream Long Island Sound.
Grantee: North Brookfield Sewer Commission
Project Area: Town of North Brookfield on the Connecticut River, Massachusetts
LISFF Grant: $208,332Grantee Matching Funds: $69,500Total Conservation Impact: $277,832
Install nitrogen sensors to improve the operation of the wastewater treatment process at the North Brookfield Wastewater Treatment Facility, Massachusetts. Project will eliminate 1,668 pounds of nitrogen annually discharged from the facility into the Connecticut River and then downstream to Long Island Sound.
The North Brookfield Sewer Commission will install nitrogen analyzers and sensors at the North Brookfield Wastewater Treatment Facility, Massachusetts. The facility currently discharges treated wastewater into Forget-Me-Not brook which flows into the Connecticut River and then downstream to Long Island Sound. Although nitrogen pollution from such wastewater discharges has decreased with plant upgrades around the Sound excess nitrogen remains an issue and contributes to harmful algal blooms, impacts fish and wildlife, degrades wetlands, and reduces public enjoyment of the Sound. A major facility upgrade proposed to begin in 2022 will increase the removal of nitrogen from the wastewater. The project will: 1) Install online ammonia and nitrate analyzers upstream and downstream of the biological treatment process at the facility; and 2) Optimize biological process operations to minimize ammonia concentrations using real-time data from the sensors. The upgraded equipment will decrease discharges of 1,668 pounds nitrogen annually upstream improving the health of downstream Long Island Sound.
Grantee: Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Project Area: Connecticut River Communities of Franklin County, Massachusetts
LISFF Grant: $475,257Grantee Matching Funds: $333,300Total Conservation Impact: $808,827
Develop standardized designs and an associated permitting pathway for river restoration projects in Franklin County, Massachusetts. Project will foster the implementation of nature-based projects that can prevent nitrogen and sediment loading in the Connecticut River and then downstream to Long Island Sound.
Franklin Regional Council of Governments will develop a pathway and guidance to address permitting challenges associated with river restoration projects designed to improve water quality in the Connecticut River Basin of the Long Island Sound in Massachusetts. River systems deliver significant amounts of nitrogen and sediment downstream to the Sound. Excess nitrogen contributes to harmful algal blooms, damages fish and wildlife, degrades habitat, and reduces public enjoyment of the Sound. Over 40 river restoration projects designed to address these pollutants have been identified in this area. Nature-based project-types include floodplain restoration, river-bank and in-stream stabilization. Projects using these techniques have been successfully implemented in New England. Government and private funders are ready to support this work. Project activities: 1) Establish a Blue Ribbon Panel of government agencies, community stakeholders and nongovernmental partners to advise the project; 2) Engage Professional Engineers, and experts in permitting and nature-based design to inform Panel; 3) Partner with experienced practitioners for lessons learned from comparable process and projects in Vermont; 4) Identify permitting pathways and create up to 10 typical designs aligned with regulations; and 5) Prepare guidance to inform project design, permitting and construction. The project will foster a shared process for implementing a set of nitrogen and sediment reduction projects.
Grantee: Rich Earth Institute
Project Area: Windham County, Vermont
LISFF Grant: $179,993Grantee Matching Funds: $314,300Total Conservation Impact: $494,193
Expand the implementation of nitrogen reclamation technology in Windham County, Vermont. Project will divert 850 pounds of nitrogen annually from entering the Connecticut River and then downstream to Long Island Sound.
Rich Earth Institute will expand installation of nitrogen reclamation technology setting up this innovative ecological septic sanitation infrastructure to move from pilot to mainstream use in Windham County, Vermont. Excess nitrogen is a threat to the health of Long Island Sound and contributes to harmful algal blooms, impacts fish and wildlife, degrades habitat, and threatens public enjoyment of its waters. Some of the excess nitrogen in the Sound originates in the Connecticut River watershed from decentralized onsite septic systems which are not designed for nitrogen removal. Approximately 50% of Vermont’s homes use such septic systems. This project will provide an alternative to costly upgrades of traditional systems by installing collection systems of wastewater generated by homes and businesses; and then recycling it as low-cost fertilizer on farms. Project activities: 1) Install 31 nitrogen reclamation systems; 2) Recruit 500 donors through media and events to install portable waterless household collection devices to capture and ultimately recycle wastewater at a centralized collection depot; 3) Create sanitized Class A fertilizer with nitrogen contributed from donors and delivered to farm fields; and 4) Conduct the Rich Earth Summit sharing information about these systems.
Grantee: Trout Unlimited
Project Area: Utley Brook, a tributary to the West River, Connecticut River Basin, Long Island Sound watershed, Landgrove, Vermont
LISFF Grant: $142,790Grantee Matching Funds: $45,000Total Conservation Impact: $187,790
Restore wetland, floodplain, streambank and riparian buffer in the Connecticut River Basin of the Long Island Sound, Landgrove, Vermont. Project will prevent 137 lbs. of nitrogen from flowing downstream to the Sound.
Trout Unlimited will restore 1.1 acres of floodplain, and two acres of riparian buffer along Utley Brook in the Connecticut River Basin of the Long Island Sound watershed in Landgrove, Vermont. A wide floodplain valley comprised of agricultural fields surrounds Utley Brook, most of which lack a substantial riparian buffer. With more intense rain in summer and rain-on-snow in winter, the banks of Utley Brook are severely eroding, contributing sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus into its waters annually. The project will target four large failing banks including: 1) Replanting a 50-70′ buffer along 2,500′ of Utley Brook; and 2) Restoring a floodplain wetland by removing winter sand pile currently stored on a municipal lot. This project will prevent 91 tons of sediment, 137 lbs. of nitrogen, and 51 lbs. of phosphorus from eroding annually into Utley Brook and Long Island Sound.
Grantee: Housatonic Valley Association
Project Area: Upper Housatonic Watershed-Litchfield County, Connecticut, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and Columbia and Dutchess Counties, New York
LISFF Grant: $193,931Grantee Matching Funds: $62,267Total Conservation Impact: $256,198
Support development of on-farm collaborative conservation plans in the Upper Housatonic watershed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Project will set the stage for actions to reduce nitrogen and other pollution from upstream agricultural operations which effect downstream Long Island Sound.
The Housatonic Valley Association will engage with agricultural producers, provide technical assistance, and support planning of six on-farm conservation plans to address nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution from upstream watersheds which effect downstream Long Island Sound in the Upper Housatonic Watershed of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. While agriculture is a vital part of the landscape, culture and economy of this region, on-farm management of nutrients, stream modifications, and other elements of agricultural production can contribute to water quality problems both locally and downstream. The project will work collaboratively with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, watershed conservation groups, and non-profit organizations focused on improving the sustainability of agricultural operations in the region. Project activities: 1) Working with partners, develop a strategy to establish regional geographic pollution prevention priorities; 2) Build relationships and engage up to six interested farms in priority areas to develop up to six “shovel-ready farm-scale conservation plans that identify actions to reduce pollution; and 3) Develop proposals to seek funding for project implementation. The project will increase the pace and strategic value of on-farm conservation planning and implementation leading to improvements in water quality in the Upper Housatonic watershed and Long Island Sound.
Grantee: Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District
Project Area: Connecticut River Watershed: Windham, Windsor, Caledonia and Essex Counties, Vermont and Cheshire, Sullivan, Grafton and Coos Counties, New Hampshire
LISFF Grant: $418,596Grantee Matching Funds: $139,779Total Conservation Impact: $558,375
Organize a team working in agriculture and the environment to identify practices, conduct trials and assess and monitor results to inform selection of best management practices to reduce nitrogen from farms in New Hampshire and Vermont. Project will identify best practices for investment to reduce nitrogen and give agricultural producers confidence that farms are implementing the most efficient practices to meet clean water goals.
The Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District will organize a team working in agriculture and the environment to identify best management practices to reduce nitrogen pollution from farms in the Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. Agriculture in the region is a source of nitrogen downstream to Long Island Sound. Modeling estimates 21% of nitrogen exported from Vermont and 16% exported from New Hampshire to the Sound comes from agriculture. Excess nitrogen affects the health of the Sound contributing to algal blooms, harming fish and wildlife, and threatening public enjoyment of its waters. The project will work with producers and partners to select economically viable and environmentally effective practices to reduce nitrogen pollution. Activities: 1) Engage a nitrogen best management practices working group of producers, public agencies, and nongovernmental organizations to inform delivery of all aspects of the project; 2) Gather farmer input to hone a list of potential practices; 3) Select practices informed by on-farm field trials addressing factors like farm viability and tailored to the type of agriculture and soils; 4) Design monitoring and assessment to identify practices with the greatest value to nitrogen reduction; and 5) Produce a final report of preferred practices, tested methods for tracking and verification, funding needed to implement on-farm; and a strategy for continuing farmer engagement in the strategy.