Saying the changes will harm the environment, officials with a prominent New Canaan nonprofit organization are voicing concerns about a proposal to raise the height of a dam in the Silvermine River and construct berms and walls along its bank. The First Taxing District of Norwalk’s plans for the Grupes Reservoir Dam off of upper Valley Road will result in the permanent clearing of more than 400 native trees and shrubs that comprise important riverbank habitat, according to the New Canaan Land Trust.
The proposed barrier of berms and walls also will disconnect wetlands and streams from the reservoir at the Land Trust’s abutting 10.3-acre Browne Sanctuary, Land Trust Executive Director Aaron Lefland said. The Land Trust is joining the Norwalk River Watershed Association in petitioning the application and urging the public to participate in a Sept. 29 hearing. “We feel pretty strongly that the application the Norwalk Taxing District submitted to DEEP [state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection] is incomplete and does not address any impacts of the project,” Lefland told NewCanaanite.com.
“Of the 600-page application, two [pages] talk about impacts on vegetation and all they talk about is vegetation downstream of the dam, whereas all we are concerned about is upstream,” he said.