Pomfret, Vermont, February 8, 2013.  On this Valentine’s Day residents of New Hampshire, Vermont and beyond can make gift donations in the name of loved ones to any of five river restoration projects in the Connecticut River watershed.  The projects are on the website CleanWaterFuture.org – which links people, businesses and organizations to conservation projects that improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, erosion control, and access.

Three projects currently on the website are located on the White River in Vermont, while two others are in New Hampshire.  The Vermont projects – located in the towns of Sharon, South Royalton and Stockbridge – are sponsored by the White River Partnership and focus on restoring streamside vegetation and fish passage at sites damaged during flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.  The New Hampshire projects – located on Mink Brook in Etna and on the main stem of the Connecticut River in Piermont – are sponsored by the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) and focus on improving water quality and controlling invasive species.

Clean Water Future, www.CleanWaterFuture.org, is newly administered by the CRWC.  “Our goal is to give communities the opportunity to support on-the-ground conservation projects,” said Andy Fisk, Executive Director of the CRWC. “These projects are small but will result in meaningful improvements in water quality, habitat and the overall health of the Connecticut River watershed.”

The website enables people to donate money to projects of their choosing at any giving level that suits them.  The average donation from individuals is $35, with larger organizations investing as much as $1,000 in various projects.  “My wife doesn’t want diamonds or flowers for Valentine’s day,” explained Ron Rhodes of Pomfret.  “She’d much rather see that money put to use in stabilizing eroding streambanks or removing invasive species like Japanese Knotweed.”

Local organizations, such as the White River Partnership, design the projects and help raise the funds through their membership and connections via Facebook and other social media.  Donations from individuals, businesses and organizations are made by credit card through the CleanWaterFuture.org website.  Give a lasting gift of love this Valentine’s Day!!!

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 CONTACT:  Ron Rhodes, North Country River Steward, Connecticut River Watershed Council

(802) 457-6114 or rrhodes@ctriver.org

Give the Gift of Clean Water this Valentine’s Day