WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) applauded Senate passage of his Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act, which will create a U.S. National Park Service protective designation for the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. Today marks the first time the U.S. Senate passed the legislation. Murphy introduced the bill as a bipartisan amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act, S. 2012, which the Senate is expected to pass later today.
Murphy, who initially introduced the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives with then-Senator Joe Lieberman, introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate last year. U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Congressman John Larson (CT-1) are cosponsors of the bill.
“Today is a big win. As soon as I got to Congress, I started working on this with community advocates. Protection of the upper Farmington River was the direct result of years of their hard work, and they weren’t going to rest until the entire river was preserved for their children and grandchildren,” said Murphy. “Now, we are closer than ever before to getting federal protection for Salmon Brook and the entire Farmington River, and I’ll be working with Senator Blumenthal, Congresswoman Esty, and Congressman Larson to see this bill over the finish line.”
With protective designation as a “Wild and Scenic river,” the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook could receive as much as $100,000 in federal funding to assist volunteers and officials with conservation efforts. The river runs through ten towns: Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Canton, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury, and Windsor. The upper portion of the river was given protected status in 1994.