March 16, 2021

Sen. Abrams, Rep. Quinn Applaud Committee Passage of Lake Beseck Drawdown Legislation

HARTFORD, CT – State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire), state Representative Michael D. Quinn (D-Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall), and Amy Poturnicki, president of the Lake Beseck Association, applauded the Environment Committee’s unanimous passage of House Bill (HB) 6384. This piece of legislation, “An Act Concerning Aquatic Invasive Species Effects on Lakes and Related Funding,” will require the commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection to enter into an agreement with the town of Middlefield and the Lake Beseck Association regarding a schedule for annual water level drawdowns of Lake Beseck.

“I am pleased the Environment Committee moved this legislation along unanimously,” said Sen. Daugherty Abrams. “This intervention is needed to begin to rid the lake of harmful invasive species that can make Lake Beseck unsafe for native species and people who enjoy it. This collaboration among the town, commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and Lake Beseck Association will lead to a drawdown schedule that is best for the town, those who frequent and enjoy the lake, and ensures an even safer aquatic environment. I am grateful to have been able to work on getting this done with Amy Poturnicki and the Lake Beseck Association, whose commitment to the lake and our community are second-to-none and an example for the care and advocacy all our state’s natural resources deserve. I am confident this will gain passage in both chambers and arrive on the governor’s desk.”

“This legislation is important to the health of Middlefield’s Lake Beseck and I am pleased to see it moving forward and out of committee,” said Rep. Quinn. “Giving the town more flexibility as to when and how much to draw down will help ensure the lake remains safe and enjoyable for everyone. This project has been in the works for quite some time and I am glad the measure we introduced this session will make it closer to becoming a reality. Many thanks to my predecessor Buddy Altobello for his steadfast efforts to maintain and protect the lake.”

“I have been working closely with Sen. Daugherty Abrams on H.B. 6384 which looks to modify the Lake Beseck drawdown. Sen. Daugherty Abrams and Rep. Quinn know how much this bill means to the Lake Beseck community since it is a way to improve one of the few tools we have to manage aquatic plants in the lake,” said Poturnicki. “I am encouraged by the tremendous amount of support it has received, and optimistic that it will pass both the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor.”

Per the drafted legislation, “Water level draw downs shall be three feet during even-numbered years with completion achieved by December first of such year and maintained until March first of the following year. Water level draw downs shall be six feet during odd-numbered years achieved by November first of such year and maintained until [December] January thirty-first of [such] the following year; a three-foot water level draw down shall be maintained thereafter until March first of the following year.” Such water level drawdowns are designed to balance the various concerns of the lake community, including: Recreational needs, preservation of lakefront infrastructure, fisheries habitat and other natural resource concerns.