Gaslighting Has Done Little to Address Coastal Concerns in Old Saybrook


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To the Editor:

Old Saybrook Dems are at it again.  Gaslighting residents into believing Old Saybrook has done little to address coastal concerns.

Over the last 30 years, Old Saybrook has been particularly active with its resiliency efforts.  When the courts ordered Old Saybrook to address potential wastewater contamination of its’ coastal and riparian waters, the Water Pollution Authority was created. In that court order, it was stipulated that we use advanced treatment (AT) technologies on properties that cannot support a conventional septic system, as well as those abutting waters of the state.  AT systems comply with recognized national standards and have the blessings of the EPA. It was both the DEEP and the State Department of Health that blocked this effort. All states surrounding Connecticut are embracing these technologies with great success,  

For the past 10 years, Old Saybrook started planning to address the effects of rising sea levels in the absence of sensible, local, economical, and universally acceptable solutions.  Because we cannot even begin to consider critical larger infrastructure on a local level, we will require State of Connecticut and even federal permits.  It’s not as simple as saying: “Let’s do something”.

Old Saybrook was one of the first shoreline towns to create a Sea Level Rise & Climate Adaptation Committee through the Republican-led Board of Selectmen.  This led to The Old Saybrook Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Study completed in 2018 which was funded from a $200,000 grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

In 2022, the town applied for and received a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for $150,000.  This project will update Old Saybrook’s coastal resiliency plan and create plans, where none currently exist, for Fenwick, Westbrook & Clinton.  The goal is to use the plan to identify areas where the towns could work together to plan for future shovel-ready resiliency projects that will benefit multiple communities. After all, sea level rise is not just happening in Old Saybrook.

In May 2023, partnering with the Town of Westbrook, we applied for a separate 2023 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant for $300,000 to prepare a Chalker Beach marsh restoration.

It would be great to hear the coastal resiliency plan from the Democrats.  They delight in showing scary pictures of water and try to frighten voters.  I guess when you have no plan, SCARE THE VOTERS.

Vote for our Old Saybrook Republicans:  Proven Leadership, Working for You!

Robert W. Powitz, PhD, MPH
Old Saybrook, CT