President Signs Legislation Protecting Connecticut Watershed

March 14, 2019 - 8:58 am

File photo of a river. Dreamstime.

STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut river has gained federal protection due to the recent passage of a public lands package.

President Donald Trump signed a public lands package Tuesday to protect more than 1.3 million acres of land, including 367 miles of rivers. The Day reports part of the legislation included a provision, authored by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, which designates river segments within the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Classifying a river as "wild" means there is little development in surrounding areas and "scenic" means it is still largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.

The Pawcatuck River flows through Stonington, North Stonington and Westerly. The newly passed law also permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund.