Chapin honored for work

April 11, 2016

Federation cites 16 years of protecting lakes
BY JOHN MCKENNA Republican-American

The Connecticut Federation of Lakes on Saturday recognized state Sen. Clark Chapin, R-New Milford, for the work he’s done to help protect the water quality of lakes and ponds in the state.

Chapin was honored during the Connecticut Lakes Conference at Camp Cochipianee. He was presented with a plaque citing his contributions to the Connecticut Federation of Lakes during his 16 years as a state representative and senator.

“Clark has done an awful lot for our lakes and ponds over the years,” said Randy Miller of East Haddam, a member of the CFL board of directors. “He helped us get our foot in the door to the point where we can always go to the legislature and talk with people who are our friends.”

Larry Marsicano of New Milford, a past president of the CFL, presented the plaque to Chapin, who will not seek a third term in the state senate in November.

“Clark helped spark a statewide effort to reduce phosphorous in waterways, and anytime we wanted to designate a lake awareness week in the state, he made sure it happened,’ Marsicano said.

Chapin was instrumental in establishing the state’s aquatic invasive species grant program three years ago. The program provided funding lake associations could use to investigate the extent of invasive weeds in their bodies of water and develop strategies to combat them.

Due to the state’s fiscal crisis, the grant program is not expected to be funded in the budget of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection this year, according to Chapin.

“We worked with DEEP to create what has been considered a model program, but unfortunately these are tough economic times in the state,” Chapin said. “I do hope I’ve played a positive role for our lake communities during the 16 years I’ve spent in the legislature.”

Thomas McGowan of Litchfield, a CFL board member who serves on the Connecticut Invasive Plant Council and founded the Lake Waramaug Task Force in 1975, also praised Chapin for his service.

“Clark has done a great job,” McGowan said. “We’re going to extract his lake DNA and plant it into his successor.”

Chapin’s successor could be state Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield. Miner, who attended Saturday’s conference and has been an advocate for lakes and ponds, plans to make a bid for Chapin’s seat in November.

The conference drew representatives from dozens of lake associations across the state and featured presentations on the legal aspects of associations, community governance of lakes, and low-impact shoreline development practices.

Associations representing Goshen’s three public water bodies, Tyler Lake, West Side Pond and Dog Pond, participated in the conference as did associations representing Bantam Lake, West Hill Pond in New Hartford and Lake Quassapaug in Middlebury.