Our Mission: The Mattabeseck Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, is committed to environmental leadership and education for the benefit of the community and the earth's biodiversity.

deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, Middletown, Connecticut 06457


Position Papers & Activism:

Mattabeseck Audubon has a long history of local conservation intervention. Representatives of Mattabeseck have attended countless wetlands meetings in most of the towns our chapter covers. Below is a summary of our actions, followed by links to pdf versions of many of our position papers on issues we have fought for in the past years.

Mattabeseck Audubon Conservation Initiatives







Dead Man’s Swamp, Cromwell, CT Golf Course & Subdivision

First plans submitted March 17, 1987

flood storage, habitat loss

Golf Course denied

June 17, 1988

MAS intervened December 1, 1987

Supreme Court decision prevents leveling of floodplain forest


Job’s Pond, Portland, CT Gravel Excavation

First proposed: 3/1/89

hydrology of adjacent kettle hole pond; habitat loss

denial of proposal


MAS review of project: 4/1/89

Marina Expansion, Portland, CT

April 17, 1989 – 1991

Flood plain habitat loss

denied without prejudice

Fall 1990

Reapplication approved with conditions

Mattabesset River Group application to build office park with bridge crossing through Mattabassett River flood plain, Cromwell, CT


Flood plain habitat loss

application denied by wetlands commission without prejudice

Project never revised or completed

Lyman Farms, Inc. Golf Course, Middlefield, CT

First proposed: 1990

Flood plain loss, Coginchaug River

Town application approved


MAS review 1991

State of Connecticut intervened; revised plans considerably before approval


Collins Hill Golf Course Proposal, Portland, CT

August 8, 1991

wetlands, vernal pools

Application approved with conditions


Gas transmission line by Algonquin Gas, Cromwell, CT

Aug. 29, 1992

gas line planned to go through wetlands and flood plain of Mattabessett River

application denied at local level

application for water quality permit by State of CT denied

March 18, 1993

Pipeline application revised, approved

June 3, 1993

Proposal to build McDonald’s adjacent to flood plain of Mattabassett River , Cromwell, CT


Flood storage and habitat loss

application approved with conditions

MAS gets conservation easement near river

Permit application by State DOT for slope stabilization, Route 66, Portland, CT, adjacent to flood plain

June 23, 1994

Flood plain habitat loss

application approved with conditions

August 12, 1993

Job’s Pond, Portland, CT Gravel Excavation

First proposed: 4/18/95

hydrology of adjacent glacial kettle hole ponds; habitat restoration

Applicant agrees on comprehensive restoration plans as a condition of approval


MAS review of project 5/5/98

Middletown, CT Golf Course

First proposed: 10/3/95

wetlands, habitat, flood storage

proposal denied without prejudice


MAS intervention 3/29/96

Reapplication with appropriate conservation stipulations approved


Gas transmission line, Portland, CT

September 1996

wetland loss

application approved with conditions

Application to construct motorcycle racing course, Great Meadows, CT River floodplain, Wethersfield-Rocky Hill, CT

March 17, 1998

habitat loss

approved with conditions recommended by MAS

Proposal by Town of Portland, CT for road and boat launch in flood plain of CT River

Jan. 25, 1999

habitat loss

Corps of Engineers approval with conditions

January 31, 2000

boat launch never built due to lack of funds

Maromas: Sewer Interceptor Public Hearing Middletown, CT

Feb. 6, 2000

habitat loss

Intervention in court by CFE prevents pipeline approval until certain conditions are met

pipeline construction continues with restrictions


Public Comment

Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge public comments


public input leads to establishment of Connecticut River National Wildlife Refuge

final draft July 1995

Listen to the Sound testimony in favor of establishing coastal preserve system


“The Sooty Six” legislation concerning controlling emissions of older power plants


toxic air pollution

older power plants required to retrofit pollution controls

Land Aquisitions

Portland, CT, Wangunk Meadows, flood plain, purchase of 2 parcels

May 2001

Highland Pond, Middletown, CT, bequest


Portland, CT, Wangunk Meadows, flood plain, donation of land


Letters: overview

Letter to Middletown Planning & Zoning to include open space provisions in long range planning


Result: open space bonding approved and open space made part of provisions

Letters to EPA commenting on proposal changes to 1989 Wetlands Delineation manual

Sept. 20, 1991

Comments and suggestions to draft revisions to Middlefield Inland Wetlands Regulations

May 23, 1993

Recommendations to State committee deciding fate of Connecticut Valley Hospital surplus lands in favor of conservation

March 11, 1994

Result: some land donated to City of Middletown as open space

Recommendations to logging operation Hurd’s Park, East Hampton

March 12, 1995

Response: best forestry practices to be met

Letter to Mayor of Middletown concerning dumping on town land in the natural open space near Lawrence School

May 4, 1997

Response: public works places barriers to most-accessible dumping areas

Comments on logging in Portland State Forest

March 28, 1999

Response: meeting with forester on site

Letter to Cromwell First Selectman concerning dumping of snow removed from municipal parking lots adjacent to CT River

December 31, 2001

Response: dumping stopped at site

Letters to Senators Lieberman & Dodd concerning Pres. Bush energy policy and oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

January 20, 2002

Response: both senators reject Bush policy

Other Conservation Involvement

Connecticut River Watch macroinvertebrate collections in Mattabesset River, and data reduction for long-term water quality survey.

Part of Mattabasset River Stakeholder Group that devised management plan for the river watershed. Plan was signed by towns in watershed.

Conducted natural history field trip for the Town of Durham, in the process of recommending town approval to buy open space parcel.

Conducted natural history field trip on parcel of land in Middlefield, recommending Town buy the open space parcel. Town approved purchase.


Position papers: (not all papers are available online at this time)

Past pages
Field Trips, etc. gone by
Summer/Fall Trips 2007
Spring/Summer Trips 2007