Welcome to LiveStream!

LiveStream is CRC’s way to connect you with your rivers through an online series of discussions with CRC staff members and partners. Episodes are hosted via Zoom and occur on selected Wednesdays from Noon-1pm.  Recordings of each episode may be found here within 24 hours of the live broadcast.

To view upcoming LiveStream episodes, view our Events Calendar. Register for each episode to receive meeting information, resources and a link to the recording.

Recordings of past episodes are available on our LiveStream playlist and by clicking on the image under each past episode title.

Welcome to Season 5!

Additional events TBA. Please also check our Events Calendar.

LiveStream, S5, Ep1: Geologic Time Travel Through the Connecticut River Basin

Presented by Alfred (Fred) Venne, Museum Educator, Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College; and Kathy Urffer, River Steward – VT, CRC 

Air Date: 2/28/24

Join the Connecticut River Conservancy for our first LiveStream of the season as we welcome Alfred (Fred) Venne, Museum Educator at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, for a riveting journey back and forth through time to explore the geological history of the Connecticut River valley. Fred will share major events that shaped the valley & watershed, present-day river and land environments and conditions, and working with mother nature. CRC staff will add perspective on how we are building climate resilience through restoration projects, such as dam removals, tree plantings to restore riparian buffers, and overall protection of the river.

Register Here

LiveStream, S5, Ep2: The Journey of Water: Source to Sewer

Presented by Rhea Drozdenko, CRC River Steward in CT and Nina Gordon-Kirsch, River Steward in MA

Air Date: 3/27/24

Where does your water come from and where does it go? From wells and reservoirs to wastewater treatment plants and stormwater solutions, discover the journey water takes from source to discharge. Join Nina Gordon-Kirsch, River Steward in MA, and Rhea Drozdenko, River Steward in CT to learn about the impacts of climate change on the Connecticut River Valley’s local water sources and the occurrences of sewage overflows into the River. Nina and Rhea will help uncover what municipalities are doing to cope with these issues and invite the public to be part of the solution via individual actions.

Register Here

LiveStream, S5, Ep3: An Act of Congress: New Legislation to Protect Our Watershed

Presented by Markelle Smith – Friends of Conte, Christopher Curtis – Deerfield River Watershed Association, and Kathy Urffer – CRC River Steward in VT

Air Date: 4/17/24

Join us to remember Earth Day and celebrate the current Acts of Congress that may assist in protecting our great river and watershed.  Hear from Markelle Smith about the Connecticut River Watershed Partnership Act; Christopher Curtis about the Deerfield River Wild and Scenic River Study and the Nulhegan River and Paul Stream Wild and Scenic River Study Act to understand how these bills came to be and what they will do to protect our watershed.

Registration Coming Soon

Past Episodes:

Click on an image below to view the recording of that episode. Or view our complete LiveStream playlist on YouTube.

Season 4

LiveStream, S4, Ep3: Currents at the Conservancy: New Leadership & Program Highlights

Presented by CRC Staff: Rebecca Todd, Aliki Fornier, Rhea Drozdenko, Ron Rhodes, Kate Buckman, Kathy Urffer, Gabrièl Chevalier, Ryan O’Donnell, and Stacey Lennard

Air Date: 12/6/23

Join us for an end of year LiveStreamIt’s time to celebrate many of the great accomplishments made throughout the watershed in 2023! During this virtual event you will hear from Connecticut River Conservancy’s new Executive Director, Rebecca Todd. There will be presentations on everything from pesky invasive species to dam removals and restoration projects. You will even get the chance to ask any questions you may have about migratory fish, or how many plastic bottles were pulled out of the river at this year’s Source to Sea Cleanup. Come join us for a riverside round robin as we gear up for another exciting year ahead!

LiveStream, S4, Ep2: The Drive to Survive: Fish Migration in the Connecticut River

Presented by Kate Buckman and Kelsey Wentling, CRC River Stewards; and Aliki Fornier, CRC Ecology Planner

Air Date: 6/14/23

Sea lamprey making a nest in the river to lay eggs

Join us for a deep dive into the epic tale of fish migration! Who’s swimming up and down the Connecticut River? Why do fish migrate and what obstacles do they face on their journeys? Why are certain fish ecologically or culturally important?

CRC’s experienced and talented staff will share migration stories about the river herring, sea lamprey, American shad and American eel, and answer all your fishy questions. Let’s dish about fish!

LiveStream, S4, Ep1: Plastic Pandemonium – Source to Sea to Solutions

Presented by Dr. Kara Lavender Law – Research Oceanographer at Sea Education Association (SEA), Ryan O’Donnell – CRC’s Monitoring Program Manger, and CRC Staff

Air Date: 4/5/23

From tiny microplastics in the river to derelict fishing nets floating in the ocean – plastic pollution is a problem facing all waterbodies from source to sea. This LiveStream will feature the many ways CRC is addressing the problems of plastics, from river cleanups to microplastics monitoring to state-wide advocacy that aims to “stop trash before it starts.”

Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography at Sea Education Association (SEA), will set the scene by sharing SEA’s decades-long research on microplastics in the ocean and her work “upstream” on the generation, pathways and treatment of plastic waste, ultimately striving to prevent plastic leakage to the environment. Ryan O’Donnell, CRC’s Water Quality Monitoring Manager, will talk about our pilot volunteer microplastics monitoring program in the Connecticut River watershed. Additional CRC staff will talk about our Cleanup efforts and advocacy work, and how you can get involved.

Season 3

LiveStream, S3, Ep6: Climate Change Along the Connecticut River

Presented by Sarah Thornbrough, CRC Community Engagement & Partnerships Coordinator; Yoni Glogowery, City of Holyoke Director of Sustainability; and Alex Rodriguez, Save the Sound Climate Advocate

Air Date: 6/15/22

This presentation will explore an introduction to climate change impacts to the northeast, climate impacts being experienced along the Connecticut River, and highlights of work happening to make our human and ecological communities more resilient in the face of the climate crisis.

CRC Climate Program Lead, Sarah Thornbrugh, will be joined by City of Holyoke Director of Sustainability, Yoni Glogowery, and Save the Sound Climate Advocate, Alex Rodriguez!

Live Spanish interpretation will be provided on Zoom by UMass Translation Center.

LiveStream, S3, Ep5: Hydrilla, the Many-Headed Monster: What is it and how to fight it?

Presented by Kelsey Wentling, CRC River Steward in Connecticut; Summer Stebbins and Greg Bugbee from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Invasive Aquatic Plant Program (IAPP) 

Air Date: 5/18/22

CRC Photo

Since its discovery in the Connecticut River in 2016, the invasive plant hydrilla has overwhelmed coves, inlets, and portions of the river. Hydrilla, like many invasive plants, can alter the quality of water, displace native plants and wildlife, and make recreation difficult. Controlling hydrilla is a significant challenge, but there are steps we can all take to help stop its spread.

Summer Stebbins and Greg Bugbee from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Invasive Aquatic Plant Program (IAPP) will join us to delve into what hydrilla is, how the Connecticut River hydrilla is unique and their work mapping and managing infestations. Hear directly from the experts in the field and learn about hydrilla’s impacts on rivers, ongoing work to address it, and how you can protect rivers from future infestations.

LiveStream, S3, Ep4: Urine My Garden: Sustainable Home Gardening Solutions for Cleaner Water

Presented by Julia Cavicchi, Education Director, Rich Earth Institute; and Kathy Urffer, CRC River Steward in New Hampshire/Vermont

Air Date: 5/4/22

Applying fertilizer

Photo by Marcin Szczepanski/Senior Multimedia Producer, University of Michigan, College of Engineering

Nitrogen pollution has created a dead zone in the Long Island Sound.  The Connecticut River is one of the major rivers that empties into the Sound, so our actions make a big difference downstream. Join CRC and the Rich Earth Institute to understand Nitrogen impacts. Learn how to reclaim the nutrients from your body for a flourishing home garden and healthier waters. Human urine contains a wealth of vital plant nutrients. Instead of flushing these precious elements downstream, where they contribute nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms, we can reclaim them to create an abundance of free, sustainable fertilizer. Urine fertilization has ancient roots and is still practiced in many communities around the world, including Brattleboro, VT where Rich Earth operates the first community-scale program of its kind in the U.S.

LiveStream, S3, Ep3: Stories of Impact: CRC Community Science comes alive

Presented by Aliki Fornier – CRC Ecology Planner, Rodrigo Pinto – sea lamprey volunteer and water chestnut harvester, Gary Powsner – water chestnut and water quality monitoring volunteer, and Emily Burkholder – tree planting volunteer

Air Date: 4/13/22

What is Community Science and why is it important? Join us on a journey through a year of CRC’s volunteer Community Science programs – sampling water, planting trees, pulling invasive plants, and even counting fish. CRC volunteers will share their stories of hard work, valuable data collection, and environmental restoration that keeps rivers healthy and full of life. Bring your questions and get inspired to join the team!

LiveStream, S3, Ep2: Along for the Ride: Adventures on the Connecticut River

Presented by Rowan Lytle – angler, fishing guide, writer, photographer, and conservationist; Kari Kastango – swimmer and statistician; and Gabriel Chevalier – CRC Laboratory and Special Projects Manager

Air Date: 3/16/22

Join us for a virtual adventure on the Connecticut River. Part storytelling and part how-to, you’ll be excited and prepared for the spring and summer recreation season! Enjoy stories told by two river adventurers that highlight different ways you can get out on the Connecticut River in all four states. We’ll also share the rich resources of the Connecticut River Paddlers Trail. Psst … we have a new map to ‘unfold’ with you!

This episode will feature Rowan Lytle, an angler from Connecticut, and Kari Kastango, swimmer extraordinaire, who is embarking on year four of swimming the entire length of the Connecticut River.  Join us to hear details about their adventures to date, and what lies ahead in 2022.

LiveStream, S3, Ep1: Enough to Go Around? Impacts of withdrawing water from rivers

Presented by Kathy Urffer, Andrea Donlon, and Kelsey Wentling, CRC River Stewards

Air Date: 2/16/22

CRC Photo: Low water on the West River

Climate change is impacting the ways we use water for drinking, irrigation, industrial uses, and power.  Who is allowed to use water and how much?  Is it sustainable?  What about habitat preservation?  Join your River Stewards to learn about the connection between surface water (rivers, lakes, and streams) and groundwater (water held underground in the soil or in rock crevices), how they are connected, impacts from climate change, and the laws and regulations in each of our four river states that work to protect the quantity of water in local rivers.

SEASON 2

LiveStream, S2, Ep7: Indigenous Relationships with Water

Presented by Justin Beatty, Cultural Educator

Air Date: 6/16/21

Photo courtesy Justin Beatty

Explore how some Indigenous/Native American tribal nations have incorporated understandings of biodiversity and conservation into their cultural worldview, traditional and non-traditional practices. Consider your relationship to the environment, how rivers and water impact your thinking and actions, and how to see water as an extension of yourself rather than ‘other’. The conversation will be led by Justin Beatty, a cultural educator of Ojibwe, Saponi, and African American descent who holds B.A. from UMass-Amherst with a concentration in Indigenous Policy, Culture, and Art. Justin is also a visual artist and well-known powwow emcee in New England.

LiveStream, S2, Ep6: Endangered Shortnose Sturgeon in the Connecticut River

Presented by Micah Kieffer, Research Fishery Biologist, Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory

Air Date: 5/19/21

Photo by Micah Kieffer – Shortnose Sturgeon

Sturgeons are among the oldest of living fishes. Human activity has contributed to population declines among all sturgeon species. One of the remaining reproducing populations of the smaller shortnose sturgeon resides in the Connecticut River. Although conservation and clean water legislation has helped, the Connecticut River shortnose sturgeon population still endures challenges due to habitat loss and water regulation. Join Micah Kieffer, Research Fishery Biologist from the Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory, and CRC staff to learn what can be done and how research is contributing to the protection of these unique living fossils.

LiveStream, S2, Ep 5: River Connections for Healthy Communities and Healthy Rivers

Presented by Christine Hatch and Brian Yellen, UMass Amherst

Air Date: 4/28/21

Fort River Confluence with the Connecticut River by Christine Hatch

Rivers interact with our lives in lots of ways – floods, recreation, wildlife and more. The health of rivers is also connected to our own wellbeing in many ways. Christine Hatch, from UMass Amherst, shares how communities can connect with and nurture rivers while keeping our critical infrastructure out of harm’s way. Brian Yellen, founding member of Fort River Watershed Association and UMass professor, shares a model for how local residents are working together to connect with and protect the Fort River, the longest free-flowing un-dammed tributary of the Connecticut River in MA, when it was threatened by development.

LiveStream, S2, Ep4: Tales from the Trail: Explore the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail

Presented by Cathy (Mumford) Brennan and Tim Lewis, with CRC and CRPT partners

Air Date: 3/31/21

Photo by Cathy (Mumford) Brennan: Comerford Dam portage

What’s the best way to travel from the US/Canada border to the ocean? By boat of course! The Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail (CRPT) is a series of campsites and river access points spanning 400+ miles of the Connecticut River through NH, VT, MA and CT. Traveling along the Connecticut River offers endless exploration, adventure, and a way to “get away from it all.”

Join us to hear tales of this river journey from Cathy (Mumford) Brennan and Tim Lewis, two Source to Sea paddlers who have made the trek themselves. Joining them will be CRPT executive committee members Kristen Sykes (AMC) and Gabriel Chevalier (CRC) to provide a brief history of the trail and introduce a new app designed to help paddlers navigate the river!

LiveStream, S2, Ep3: Water Monitoring Behind the Scenes

Presented by Ryan O’Donnell, CRC Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator

Air Date: 2/24/21

Photos L-R: Misha Semenov, CT River Gateway Comission; Kelly Loomis

Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at choosing where to collect water samples, what we test for, and how to make sense of the data that comes back. Get a review of the 2020 water monitoring season, including the “Is It Clean?/¿Está Limpio?” bacteria monitoring program and Samplepalooza – our one-day, four-state nutrient monitoring event.

You’ll also get a sneak-peak at our brand new microplastics program, hear what to look forward to in 2021, and how you can get involved in the upcoming field season!

LiveStream, S2, Ep2: Hydropower in MA: Do rivers need water & fish need elevators?

Presented by Kathy Urffer and Andrea Donlon, CRC River Stewards

Air Date: 1/27/21

Photo by Al Braden: Spring freshet on Connecticut River at Turner’s Falls, MA.

Dams harm rivers and fish but this is our one chance (for the next 40-50 years!) to move two hydro facilities to more river and fish-friendly operations. The Turners Falls Dam and Northfield Mountain Pump Storage started the process of securing new operating licenses in 2013 and CRC has been involved every step of the way. Final license applications were submitted in December 2020.  We have long known that upstream fish passage at Turners Falls is inadequate and the river channel below the dam is dry most of the year – find out what is proposed at this event.

The year 2021 is a critical time for all of us to speak up for our rivers. Join CRC River Stewards Kathy Urffer and Andrea Donlon to find out more about hydro issues like river flows, fish passage, endangered species, and actions you can take to make a difference for your rivers.

LiveStream, S2, Ep1: Hydropower in NH & VT: Three dams, two states, one better deal for rivers

Presented by Kathy Urffer and Andrea Donlon, CRC River Stewards, and Katie Kennedy, Applied River Scientist for The Nature Conservancy

Air Date: 1/13/21

Photo by Al Braden: Wilder Dam, NH/VT

Dams harm rivers and fish but this is our one chance (for the next 40-50 years!) to move three dams to more river and fish-friendly operations. The Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon Dams started the process of securing new operating licenses in 2013 and CRC has been involved every step of the way. Final license applications were submitted in December 2020. Great River Hydro proposed operational changes for their three dams that is a big win for the river – find out more at this event.

The year 2021 is a critical time for all of us to speak up for our rivers. Join us to find out more about hydro issues like erosion, recreation, and actions you can take to make a difference for your rivers.

SEASON 1

LiveStream, S1, Ep11: TRASH TALK: Tired of Tires

Presented by Tom Metzner, Environmental Analyst, CT Department of Environmental Protection and Terri Goldberg, Executive Director, Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association

Air Date: 11/18/20

Each year, volunteers unearth dozens, even hundreds of illegally dumped tires in our rivers during CRC’s annual Source to Sea Cleanup. While the scope of the issue can be daunting, there are tried and true methods for reducing and eliminating illegal tire dumping. Join us to explore both the impacts of illegal tire dumping, as well as how you can be a part of the solution.

Tom Metzner & Terri Goldberg will provide expertise on the health & environmental impacts of illegal tire dumping, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on tires in CT and throughout the region; Connecticut River Conservancy River Steward Kelsey Wentling will share what CRC is doing to address the tire problem. We invite you to join the dialogue.

LiveStream, S1, Ep10: Celebrating World Fish Migration Day on the Connecticut River

Presented by Lael Will from Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Ken Sprankle of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Air Date: 10/28/20

In celebration of World Fish Migration Day (Oct. 24, 2020) CRC and our partners highlight work being done across the Connecticut River and tributaries in support of migratory fish.

Join Lael Will from Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Ken Sprankle of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to learn how native Sea lamprey and American shad use the Connecticut River and its tributaries to spawn, the history of these species, and work being done to help them thrive in the Connecticut River. Hosted by CRC River Stewards Ron Rhodes & Kathy Urffer.

LiveStream, S1, Ep9: TRASH TALK: Purge the Plastics

Presented by Kirstie Pecci – director of the Zero Waste Project and a Senior Fellow at Conservation Law Foundation, Melissa Gates – Northeast Regional Manager of Surfrider, and CRC’s own River Stewards – Kathy Urffer, Andrea Donlon and Kelsey Wentling.

Air Date: 10/14/20

Plastics are always among the most found trash items during CRC’s annual Source to Sea Cleanup. How do we purge the plastic?

Join us to explore our relationship to plastics – from microplastics and plastic trash in our waterways to the ways Covid-19 has impacted our plastic use. We’ll look at what CRC is doing locally, what’s happening regionally across our four rivers states, and discuss long-term solutions to prevent our rivers from getting trashed in the first place.

LiveStream, S1, Ep8: Estuary Magazine – Life of the Connecticut River

Presented by Wick Griswold, Emerti Professor of Sociology, University of Hartford. Teaches the Sociology of the CT River Watershed. Commodore, CT River Drifting Society. Author of five books on the history of the CT River.

Air Date: 8/19/20

Photo by Christopher Zajac, Estuary Magazine

Estuary is the first magazine dedicated to the life of the Connecticut River. Learn how this new magazine came to be, from conception to implementation. Hear from well-known naturalist Wick Griswold about the creation of articles on recreation, ecology, history, people and places.

LiveStream, S1, Ep7: Fish Tales: Migration – One of the River’s Oldest Stories

Co-presented by Sarah Rippere, CRC Membership Coordinator & Data Ranger and Lots of Fish, an art and environmental education project focused on creating Artful Solutions to Water Pollution through community outreach and engagement!

Air Date: 8/5/20

Kids love rivers, too! Come learn about some of the fishy friends we have here in the Connecticut River and the exciting tale of the migratory journey to our neighborhood waters that’s been happening for thousands of years. Appropriate for kids of all ages!

LiveStream, S1, Ep6: Freshwater Mussels: Restoring the brook floaters

Presented by Ayla Skorupa, PhD candidate, MA Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, UMass, Amherst

Air Date: 7/22/20

What do parasites, fish, and filter feeding have in common? Freshwater mussels! Learn about native mussels present in streams and rivers throughout New England and a project to restore one of these endangered species to Massachusetts rivers.

LiveStream, S1,Ep5: Hydroelectricity and Your Rivers: Not as green as it seems

Presented by Kathy Urffer, CRC River Steward

Air Date: 7/8/20

Explore the impacts of hydropower on our rivers and fish, the pros and cons of this ‘green’ energy, and how CRC works to balance river use with river protection. Learn how operating licenses and federal laws impact the way hydro dams are run. We’ll share how public can get involved and why you should.

LiveStream, S1, Ep4: Floodplain Forest Restoration

Presented by Fritz Gerhardt, CRC River Steward

Air Date: 6/24/20

Restoring a floodplain forest in Colebrook, NH

Floodplain forests are an important part of our river ecosystems. They reduce stream temperatures, improve fish and wildlife habitat, protect clean water, and reduce nutrient and sediment loading. In this presentation, we will discuss some characteristics of floodplain forests and efforts to protect and restore these forests along the Connecticut River and its tributaries.

View slide deck of presentation here.

LiveStream, S1, Ep3: Free Our Rivers: Why and how CRC removes deadbeat dams

Presented by Ron Rhodes, CRC River Steward

Air Date: 6/10/20

Before and After comparison

Learn what makes a deadbeat dam, why they should be removed from our rivers, and how you go about taking down a dam. Examples from CRC’s “dirty dozen” — 12 dam removals since 2014.

LiveStream, S1, Ep2: But Can I Swim In It? How scientists determine the health of rivers and streams

Presented by Ryan O’Donnell, CRC Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator

Air date: 5/27/20

Scientists use a variety of methods to determine the water quality in rivers and streams including looking at habitat, the creatures that make their homes in the water, and the water itself. This presentation provides a brief overview and example of each. And of course, it answers the questions everyone always wants to know, is it a good idea to swim in it?

LiveStream, S1, Ep1: Learning to Love Your Migratory Fish

Presented by Andrew Fisk, CRC Executive Director

Air Date: 5/13/20

Our watershed is home to really amazing migratory fish. Our first LiveStream episode is a sort of icthyological speed dating, where you will learn about and come to love your migratory fish.  Their life history is interesting and important to making our rivers healthy and full of life. Come meet your new favorite fishy friend!