The refuge has helped support important partnership education projects around the watershed in the past. Many of these developed materials helpful to teachers about the river, its watershed, and various aspects of natural resource and biodiversity studies.
Connecticut River Education Initiative (CREI)
The refuge helped support this program from 1997-2000. CREI is a consortium of non-profit educational institutions from the four watershed states working together to encourage study of the Connecticut River and its watershed. CREI developed curricula and provided teacher workshops, helping teachers to use the river as an interdisciplinary focus for classroom, field, lab and computer work. Their website http://www.wgby.org/edu/crei/index.html makes many resources available, including some of the curricula, links to maps and other resources, and a virtual field trip. The site also serves several special programs about the river and a series of 22 video shorts about the natural history of the river, its habitats and its wildlife, developed by Laurie Sanders (partially supported through grants from the refuge), along with a teacherís guide to these shorts.
For many years a camera over the Barton Cove eagle nest transmitted live video throughout the nesting season on public access television in Montague and Greenfield, Massachusetts. Other people followed the eagles on the web. Unfortunately, the tree that held that eagle nest and camera fell during a storm on July 27, 2008. The eagles can still be spotted in perches near the old nest site. There is another potential nest site in a red oak on a nearby island. The eagle cam project resulted from a partnership among Northeast Utilities (now First Light Power), Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Comcast, SCHOTT Solar, Inc., Crocker communications, Inc., Silent Witneww, and Western Massachusetts Communications. For updates check the eagle cam web site of First Light Power. http://www.firstlightpower.com/eagles/default.asp