Crab Meadow Watershed

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Final Draft Crab Meadow Watershed Hydrology Study and Stewardship Plan


Final Draft Documents

About the Crab Meadow Watershed

Crab Meadow is a designated Long Island Sound Study Stewardship Area.  This document, the “Crab Meadow Watershed Hydrology Study and Stewardship Plan”, is being developed for use as a land management tool, serving to identify initial strategies to maintain and enhance local watershed resources, recognizing that the Long Island Sound and its coastal watershed areas are being analyzed in several regional studies that will further define resiliency and protective measures for implementation.

Protection and restoration/enhancement of this special coastal watershed for community, natural resource, and ecosystem benefit are its motivation, with a focus on lands in public ownership. The strategic goals suggested in the document have been derived in response to information obtained through stakeholder participation and reference studies.  These strategic goals focus on the following:

Community Involvement and Education

  • Establish CMW as Regional Coastal Research Area
  • Raise overall public awareness and stewardship
  • Improve educational resources and outreach
  • Expand citizen science network
  • Promote individual stewardship

Habitat, Plants and Wildlife

  • Monitor protected areas to detect changes (e.g., species distribution, sea level rise)
  • Manage, control or eliminate invasive plant species and nuisance wildlife 
  • Protect key nesting areas from recreational uses (e.g., plovers, snapping turtles)
  • Restore and improve historic fish (Alewife) and eel (American) passages
  • Maintain dynamic biodiversity inventory
  • Calm traffic in proximity of park access points and at known wildlife crossings

Water Resources and Water Quality

  • Define baseline conditions in surface waters and groundwater and strive to improve water quality
  • Implement best management practices/green infrastructure to stem flooding, maximize infiltration, mitigate impacts to natural resources
  • Measure, maintain and/or restore flows through CMW primary area  
  • Support and/or conduct pilot projects to confirm their potential for success (e.g.,  shellfish seeding in tidal creeks)
  • Expand resource mapping (stormwater infrastructure)
  • Continue seasonal beach clean-up days to marsh and upland parks to remove floatables and litter 

Access and Recreation

  • Continue watershed land conservation initiatives 
  • Provide sufficient parking and safe access to trails and all park resources 
  • Secure public recreational access agreement for portions of LIPA right-of-way that are not already in Town ownership
  • Encourage major stakeholders/owners of critical holdings and individual owners to participate in watershed protection actions 
  • Stem vandalism and nuisance uses 
  • Promote passive recreation use to maintain natural area integrity

Infrastructure and Historic Resources

  • Enhance resiliency of existing infrastructure 
  • Restore and expand opportunities for shoreline access 
  • Implement sustainable upgrade to Cranberry Hill Environmental Center to enable year-round use 
  • Develop exhibits and signage to interpret cultural and natural history of CMW
  • Eliminate public property encroachments

Please take the time to review the attached Final Draft “Crab Meadow Watershed Hydrology Study and Stewardship Plan” and associated appendices. Note that edits/modifications from the most recent draft version of the “Crab Meadow Watershed Hydrology Study and Stewardship Plan” are shown within the presented document highlighted in yellow.