In 2008, the Connecticut State Water Pollution Control Authority began to evaluate the condition of the Rippowam / Mill River, which runs through the entire length of the city of Stamford. Concerned about water quality and outflow, the Authority hired environmental engineer CDM to study existing conditions and help restore the river to its natural flood plain downtown. CDM enlisted PPS to improve public access to the river, as well as develop public spaces along the water that better integrate the waterway into the community.
PPS worked to determine existing points of access along the river, and conducted public workshops at five points along the water, including on the site of a new waterfront park under development by the city. Workshops were used to elicit ideas for appropriate uses and activities along the river, helping the community envision what the river has the potential to become.
PPS will also conduct public workshops educating the community about their behavior and preservation efforts, explaining links between pesticides, fertilizers and unsustainable land use to erosion and water pollution. Additionally, public / private uses will be explored with stakeholders.
PPS will continue to work on developing a plan for the river that allows for benign human use and interaction, connecting the community with the water while retaining water quality and the natural environment.