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A Measured, Low-Key Approach to Public Access to Black Hall River

To the Editor:

The likely prospect for town public access to the Black Hall River is undeniable. A low-key approach to both water access — human-powered craft (i.e. canoes and kayaks) — and nature watching would enable enjoyment and education for all.

Thoughtfully-measured steps relating to parking, and minimizing the human footprint (literally!) on the marsh via signage is a start, while ongoing discussion/application to DEEP and related commissions and the Board of Selectmen continue.

Protection of the marsh could be via a 3-4’ wide walkway 2’ above the marsh possibly with a small, 10’ x 10’?, observation deck incorporated near the ramp access to a 10’ x 10’? floating dock. Initial discussion with DEEP indicated this possibility.

Also, due to the particular type of marsh at the site, the walkway’s 2’ height would not require hand railings minimizing aesthetic impact. Also, the floating dock ramp can be constructed preventing aluminum “reflection,” which is an eyesore.

I urge the Board of Selectmen and those interested to strongly support this “diamond in the rough.”

Sloan Danenhower
Old Lyme, CT

Danenhower is a member of the Old Lyme Harbor Management Commission

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