Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

April 29, 2024


Monday, April 29, 2024


DANBURY – State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) today welcomed the news that the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has awarded $545,000 to 13 cities and towns to reduce the impact of aquatic invasive species on inland waters in Connecticut – including grants for Candlewood Lake and Lake Kenosia.

Today’s DEEP grants include:

• $25,724 to the Candlewood Lake Authority for education and outreach for the Candlewood Lake Steward Program to educate boaters about the aquatic invasive threatening Candlewood Lake. The main invasive plant threat to Candlewood Lake is Eurasian watermilfoil, which arrived in the lake (likely from a boat trailer) in the 1970’s. The plant creates dense mats of aquatic vegetation which have been difficult to kill due to Connecticut’s warming winters.

• $30,399 to the Housatonic Valley Association, Inc. to remove Water Chestnut from Lake Kenosia in Danbury. Lake Kenosia is a 60-acre lake with a 25-acre public park which offers benches, a playground, a spray park, four soccer fields, and non-motorized boating.

“I think we all knew back in 2019 when we voted for this program the challenges that our lakes and streams were facing from a variety of invasive plant species. Not only are they unattractive, but they can also hurt property values and they can really reduce the enjoyment that you get when you head outdoors. Just ask anyone who’s had to swim through a mat of milfoil or pull it off their boat propellor,” Sen. Kushner said. “I’m very pleased to see DEEP directing some of these funds back to the Danbury area so we can stay on top of the problem.”

The Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program was made possible in 2019 when the Connecticut General Assembly voted on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis to create the Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp fee (Public Act 19-190) which applies to all registered boats using Connecticut waters, to provide a dedicated funding source for the “Connecticut Lakes, Rivers and Ponds Preservation Account.” This account funds programs to protect the state’s lakes, ponds, and rivers by addressing aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria blooms.

Over the past three years, Connecticut has awarded approximately $952,700 to 46 projects statewide.