Whether through oversight or apathy, many of us have inadvertently impacted the quality of the Quinnipiac River or other vital waterways. Besides the obvious damage of sewage treatment overflows, illegal dumping and litter, the river is impaired by lesser-known sources such as dog waste, pesticides and even the extra rainwater runoff caused by the development of driveways and parking lots, patios and other impervious surfaces.
We all contribute to the problem and we can all contribute to the solution. While policy changes and enforcement have made some difference, legislation alone won’t protect the river. We all must do our part. There are many things we can do – from simple household measures such as limiting garbage disposal use to low-cost landscape management alternatives, such as rain gardens and vegetated buffers.
You can find more information on best management practices in Protecting the Quinnipiac.
What people know and value, they protect. One of the best ways to become an advocate for the Quinnipiac, is to get to know the river first hand – to come and enjoy all that it has to offer – from its fantastic and varied views to boating and fishing opportunities. Walk along the Dover Beach banks, canoe through Hemmingway Creek, trout fish in the Quinnipiac Gorge, kayak through the maze of marshes, watch an osprey build her nest (from a distance of course!)
There are many opportunities to access and explore the River. Parks and trails along the shore include Quinnipiac River Park and Dover Beach in New Haven, The Quinnipiac River Linear Trail in Wallingford, the Quinnipiac River Gorge in Meriden, and Quinnipiac River State Park in North Haven. The Fargeorge Preserve, a land trust property located on Quinnipiac Avenue, contains marked trails that provides unique access to the Quinnipiac tidal marsh.There are numerous canoe and boat launches along the river. Businesses, marinas and restaurants (like Martin’s Riverside), also offer river-viewing opportunities. Public easements, often required with waterside condo development, are another common, but seldom recognized river access point. For more information on public access, please reference Protecting the Quinnipiac.