The Kirtland Landing Project

 The Kirtland Landing Project

Westbrook’s Kirtland Landing Boat Launch on the Menunketesuck River recently received nearly $170,000 in Federal funds for upgrades and improvements through the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP). This award is the result of a collaboration between the Town of Westbrook, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Transportation and Connecticut Department of Transportation. Engineering work on the project has begun, and visible improvements to the facility along CT Route 145, are expected to occur in 2018-2019. With these improvements, the diversity of opportunities to view wildlife and to partake in outdoor recreation on the river and the refuge will be much-improved.

About FLAP:

Kirtland Landing was eligible for these special funds because it provides access to Federal lands – specifically to the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, which is 2,000 feet downstream of the facility. The Federal Lands Access Program awards funding to facilities - such boat launches and parking areas owned by state/local governments - that provide the public with access to their Federal lands. Since Kirtland Landing is the only public launch facility that provides access to the Menunketesuck River and the marsh portion of Stewart B. McKinney NWR’s Salt Meadow Unit, it is important that the facility is safe and accessible. The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken an important step to ensure that is the case, by assisting the Town of Westbrook with these FLAP funds.

What Will Be Done:

The project will include the expansion and resurfacing of the parking facility using pervious pavement, the replacement and modernization of the existing boat ramp, stabilization of approximately 2,000 square feet of riverbank, as well as the removal and replacement of overgrown shrubs. About 8,000 square feet of riparian buffer will also be created to address erosion and safety issues, and interpretive signage will be added. These improvements will combine to make Kirtland Landing a safe, more accessible and more attractive gateway to the McKinney Refuge and the river.