Northeast Region
Conserving the Nature of America

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Connecticut River Named Nation's First National Blueway

News Release

Read the news release

Photos from the event

For a copy of the Secretarial Order on the National Blueway System, click here.

For a copy of the Designation of the Connecticut River National Blueway, click here.

National Blueways Initiative

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed a Secretarial Order on May 24, 2012 establishing a National Blueways Initiative and also announced that the 410-mile-long Connecticut River and its 7.2 million-acre watershed will be the first National Blueway - covering large areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The event is part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Rivers Initiative to establish a community-driven conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st  century. Today's designation will recognize the collaborative leadership of more than 40 partner organizations under the umbrella of the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte Refuge and the cumulative successes of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, states, and many other partners. The sustained, landscape-level efforts by public and private partners to conserve and restore the river and watershed for wildlife, people, and outdoor recreation provide an exemplary model for future National Blueways.

Running from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River and its watershed include 2.4 million residents and 396 communities. The existing Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge conserves native plant, fish and wildlife species and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout the Connecticut River watershed. The Refuge works in partnership with a wide variety of individuals and organizations to provide environmental education, to encourage and support appropriate habitat conservation and management on public and private lands, and to protect additional habitat. For more information, please contact Adam Fetcher (Department of Interior) 202-208-6416 or Terri Edwards (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) 413-253-8324.

About Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve the abundance and diversity of native plants and animals and their habitats in the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River Watershed in Connecticut Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Visit the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge website

Photos

Click images for full-size.

View from the Connecticut River Community Boathouse, site of the Department of Interior Blueway designation signing event held on May 24, 2012. The Connecticut River is the first river in the nation to be named a "Blueway". An event attendee with a very festive Connecticut River hat! Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar presents the 2012 National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer of the Year Award to David Govatski, a volunteer at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge.  Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks with Connecticut River stakeholders in Hartford, Conn. Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber and Natioinal Wildlife Refuge Volunteer of the year in background. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signs National Blueway designation for the Connecticut River. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge spans the length of the river (410 miles).
Silvio O. Conte Nulhegan Basin Division, Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom LaPointe/USFWS Nulhegan Basin Division, Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom LaPointe/USFWS WoW Express in Hartford  Credit: Patrick Comins/USFWS Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, Hadley, MA.  Credit: Maddie List/USFWS
Last updated: September 5, 2012