HARTFORD, CT (12/9/22) -- State Rep. Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven), House Chair of the Bonding Subcommittee, has secured $850,000 in bond funding to help Audubon Connecticut and New York, a regional office of the National Audubon Society, establish a Coastal Resilience Hub in or near the Sandy Point Beach and Bird Sanctuary in West Haven.
The funding was approved during the December meeting of the State Bond Commission on Thursday.
"Our shoreline is our greatest asset, and we need to keep investing and upgrading its aspects in a way that makes it not only beneficial and aesthetic for our residents but attracts investors and consumers to West Haven," said Rep. Borer. "The National Audubon Society making West Haven their regional home is just another feather in the cap toward these goals. West Haven with its long, usable coastline and beach scene provides for the perfect landscape for a tasteful environmental structure like those we see within many other coastal cities in Connecticut."
"We here at Audubon are elated with today's announcement as the Sandy Point Beach and Bird Sanctuary is one of the state’s foremost locations to observe rare shorebirds and is a nationally listed Important Bird Area," said Mike Burger, executive director of Audubon Connecticut and New York and vice president of the National Audubon Society. "The Hub will bring the greater West Haven community together to create a place to demonstrate climate resilience best practices and highlight ways to use nature-based solutions to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Hub will also support wildlife, recreation and open space in the city of West Haven. We are grateful to Governor Ned Lamont and especially want to thank Dorinda Borer for her sponsorship of this project and her dedication to the shoreline and natural resources of West Haven.”
Audubon anticipates working with the City of West Haven on this effort. A Coastal Resilience Hub would also help to put into action many of the priorities and strategies already identified and needed by the City of West Haven for conservation of coastal resources, neighborhood development, natural hazard mitigation and overall community resiliency. They will incorporate the goals of the Coastal Resilience Plan (2017), Plan of Conservation and Development (2017), and the Harbor Management Plan (2018). The creation of a Hub would help centralize community level preparedness that would expand on the strategies and priorities identified through municipal planning efforts.
"I am thrilled to see that Audubon Connecticut has been awarded state bonding to establish a Hub for Coastal Resilience," West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi said. "The Hub furthers West Haven’s coastal resilience efforts while also engaging and educating the community. This will be a wonderful addition to our beautiful shoreline!"
In recent years, Rep. Borer has continued to work on investing in the shoreline by securing $3,900,000 in funding for the new Cove River pedestrian bridge that she helped to design, $200,000 funding for the Boardwalk restoration project, $5,000,000 to raise Beach Street, $2,000,000 to upgrade the sewer pumps stations and bathrooms at East Avenue and Beach Street and at Ocean Avenue and Dawson Avenue.
West Haven City Councilor Meli Garthwait (R-2nd District) added: "I am beyond excited that we will have the new Audubon hub coming to West Haven, especially while I am serving as the District's Councilwoman. I have dreamed of this – like many other residents – ever since moving to Sandy Point, which is one of the richest locations for rare shore birds and has been designated by Audubon as an Important Bird Area for the state. A very big heartfelt thanks to our State Representative, Dorinda Borer, for helping to make dreams come true for all of us who have worked so hard to promote and protect West Haven's gem, Sandy Point Beach and Bird Sanctuary."
CONTACT: Sharon Bruce, firstname.lastname@example.org