WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, applauded passage of a Senate amendment to an Interior Department spending bill that funds the new Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic designation. In February, Murphy’s bill, The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic River Act, passed the U.S. Senate and was signed into law by President Trump. The legislation created a U.S. National Park Service protective “Wild and Scenic” river designation for the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook run 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. The amendment also funds the new Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Wild and Scenic designation, which covers parts of southeastern Connecticut and parts of southwestern Rhode Island and which was also signed into law in February. Newly designated rivers typically receive $175,000 to protect, enhance, and manage the local river sources. The Interior spending bill will now go to a House and Senate conference committee.
“Protecting the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook has been a priority of mine since I first came to Congress. Earlier this year, our bill to give the river a ‘Wild and Scenic’ designation was signed into law by the president. This would not have been possible without the hundreds of activists who are have stayed involved in this process throughout the years. With the passage of this amendment, we are on the way to fully funding and protecting the river,” said Murphy.
In May, after the bill became law, Murphy, along with U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-5) and state and local officials celebrated the designation in Simsbury. Murphy first 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.