Another way the refuge educates is through targeted outreach materials and workshops. We try to engage, educate and motivate specific people who can take the necessary action to solve certain habitat problems. For example, to prevent the introduction of zebra mussels into the Connecticut River, an outreach project could be undertaken to reach boaters with information about the threats that zebra mussels pose to our native freshwater mussels and their habitat, and provide them with information about how to clean their boats to avoid transporting and introducing zebra mussels.
In the spring of 2005, refuge staff presented workshops for landowners entitled "Where Do I Begin: Planning Invasive Plant Control on Large Parcels." Almost 100 people attended, who collectively manage 691,592 acres. Attendees came from a wide geographic area, including CT, MA, RI, NH, VT and NY. In addition to many landowners, conservation commissions, land trusts, nature centers, water suppliers, and schools and colleges, many attendees were from federal and state agencies. Many of the agency personnel were looking for information to pass along to landowners that they work with, so the workshops will have a large ripple effect. Check the website calendar to see upcoming workshops.
Eight Mile River and Salmon River Watershed Projects
Other examples include the Eight Mile River and Salmon River Watershed Projects, which occurred in 1997 to 2000 in partnership with the Connecticut Cooperative Extension, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, were non-regulatory projects which educated riparian land owners, forest land owners, and municipal officials to help them better balance conservation and growth in these areas.
The Mill River Project
The Mill River Project in 1997 and 1998 collected information about a particular watershed in Massachusetts and helped citizens and their town officials use the information to safeguard and improve their environments.