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Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Partnership

Laina Hancock

Last summer, elevated levels of bacteria in the Scantic River prompted residents to contact Sierra Club Connecticut to see what could be done. Since then, the Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Partnership was formed by researchers from the University of St. Joseph led by Kirsten Martin PhD and Sierra Club Connecticut. The Partnership includes DEEP, USGS, CT River Conservancy, Scantic River Watershed Association, and the East Windsor American Heritage River Commission.  


The partnership seeks to link experts with volunteers eager to help remediate the situation by monitoring bacteria levels with the hopes of identifying the point sources for the pollution, and ultimately develop better watershed management strategies.  Grant funding will be sought to fund this partnership going forward. 


The partnership also hopes to inspire residents to participate in activities such as Stream Walk and educational events such as an event that took place on August 26th at the Enfield Library. The event included a presentation by Marc Cohen, Sierra Club Connecticut volunteer and retired water professional, and Kirsten Martin. The program was attended by twenty interested folks and covered general threats to river health, simple things that residents living nearby can do to help, and ways for people to participate in the river assessment and monitoring program. Representative Tom Arnone, 58th District, gave opening remarks. 

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To learn more about the Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Partnership or to get involved as a volunteer with a citizen science project, please contact Martha or Allison of the Land and Water Committee: or


To learn more about the problem of bacterial contamination of our state's waterways, visit the updated DEEP Water Quality Report. If you are interested in volunteering to help monitor state waterways local to you, see DEEP's volunteer monitoring program.

Laina Hancock is a Sierra Club member and serves on the Communications Committee for Sierra Club Connecticut.

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