Quinnipiac River Watershed Assocation
Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2825
Meriden CT 06450
Contact Information
Address Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2825
Meriden, CT 06450-
Telephone (203) 237-2237 x
Fax 203-237-2237
E-mail qrwainfo@att.net
Web and Social Media
Web Site http://qrwa.org
QRWA Headquarters
Mission

To restore the Quinnipiac River and its watershed for the health and enjoyment of the citizens and communities along its reach, and to educate students, families, individuals, businesses and governments to be informed stewards of the river.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1979
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Organization is made up of all volunteers. There is no CEO.
Board Chair David James
Board Chair Company Affiliation President
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission

To restore the Quinnipiac River and its watershed for the health and enjoyment of the citizens and communities along its reach, and to educate students, families, individuals, businesses and governments to be informed stewards of the river.

Background

Over our 35-year history, the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association (QRWA) has successfully educated and worked with thousands of residents and businesses throughout the Quinnipiac River Basin. QRWA utilizes a broad array of strategies to fulfill our mission to conserve the Quinnipiac and its watershed. We run programs, events and actions in education & outreach, advocacy, science & monitoring, conservation & restoration, and recreation & public access.

QRWA's volunteer corps is our muscle. We connect scientists with lay-people, coordinating the training of volunteers to collect scientific data on water quality, conduct population surveys and monitor the physical characteristics of rivers. We enhance the public's river experience by providing seasonal guided trips, and participate in other organizations water-based events by providing paddling instructors, giving the public an opportunity to access the river and view its wildlife from a different perspective. We also offer free paddling during municipal family day and water trail day events.

We have established annual get-on-the-river events: the Quinnipiac Downriver Classic canoe and kayak race; the Source-to-Sound Cleanup; River Bioassessment by Volunteer Program; Fish Stocking of both the upper and lower river, and regular guided hikes and canoe trips. We offer a semiannual, two day basic canoe and water safety program to Quinnipiac University Students and have formed a Paddle Committee to support recreational paddling throughout the watershed. In our long standing partnership with 3M and Meriden Public Schools we now provide environmental educational programs to K-12 grades where students in the watershed and beyond are able to participate in annual field trips, classroom activities, hands-on projects, and independent studies, that will connect them to the environment, the community and river.

With the completion of our restoration project of the historic Dossin Beach Bathhouse now serving as our headquarters and a Regional Environmental Education Center, every child in the watershed-and beyond-has an opportunity to experience the river, outdoor recreation and wildlife. The center is a staging area for our efforts to get kids and their families outside through exploration, boating, wildlife observation, healthful exercise, and fishing. The center and the grounds of the QRWA have become a platform for a monthly environmental speaker series and our butterfly and bee habitat is now a qualified Monarch Butterfly Waystation.

For the spring of 2016 we will begin to participate in the Upper Quinnipiac Canoe Trail project working with town leaders and the Wildlife and Fish Service to improve the canoe trail for recreational use. The project also includes the removal of the Carpenter and Clark Brother Dams.
 
In April of 2012 working with CT DEEP Inland Fisheries Division, the Town of Wallingford and Save the Sound we constructed a fishway on Wallingford's Wallace Dam to permit native shad and alewife to reach their historic breeding grounds in the upper Quinnipiac.

In December of 2013 we finalized updating the 2004 Quinnipiac Watershed Action Plan into a CTDEEP and EPA-approved Quinnipiac Watershed Base Plan to implement proposed projects to reduce non-point source pollutant loads in the watershed and improve water quality in the Quinnipiac River.

 
 
 
 
Impact

Accomplishments:
  1. Completed restoration project, converting city owned building in disrepair to serve as our regional environmental education center and headquarters.
  2. Increased revenues through annual appeal letter to membership, private donations, facility rentals, photography sales, annual fundraising events, guided tours, paddling events and programs and participating in the Great Give. 
  3. Received additional funding of $48,000 from 3M to expand our current high school environmental education programs and to intergrate K-8 grades. Funding enables us to provide annual field trips for local high schools and elementary students to visit our facility to increase awareness and understanding of our environment through hands-on programs at our regional education center.
  4. Expanded our QRWA Education Committee to include both high school and elementary educators and volunteers holding degrees and certifications in the fields of Advanced Master Gardening, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Wildlife Biology and Ecology.
  5. Revised the 2004 Quinnipiac Watershed Action Plan into a CTDEEP and EPA-approved watershed based plan.

Goals: 

  1. Obtain funding to hire a grant writer to secure funds for the implementation of projects according to the QRWA’s Watershed Base Plan.
  2. Expand our paddle programs with guided tours in other towns within the watershed and beyond.
  3. Solicit watershed towns and cities for funding and participation in state legislation that benefits the River. 
  4. Add a Streamwalk Program to our educational programs. 
  5. Seek individuals to serve on the board in the fields of environmental science. 
Needs
  1. Build awareness of watershed in other towns and work with town leaders to engage in Q watershed plan.
  2. Obtain a watershed coordinator and grant writer to secure funds for the implementation of projects focusing on non point source pollution and to improve water quality.

  3. Increase number of board members to represent other towns in the watershed.

  4. Create a reserve fund to be financial secure in the future

  5. Provide environmental, educational, and recreational programs to the public.

CEO Statement QRWA is a grass roots organization supported by an all volunteer board. The Quinnipiac Watershed covers 18 towns; most folks are not aware of that. We are based in Meriden, which represents 97% of the watershed. Our challenge, and goal is to reach beyond Meriden and to engage all the towns in the watershed to bring awareness to our annual Source to Sound clean ups, participate in our river monitoring programs and seek members and board members to represent all 18 towns.
Board Chair Statement
As a young boy growing up within walking distance of the Quinnipiac River, I learned early the adventures possible both on the water and along its banks and surrounding woodlands. Hiking, climbing trees, identifying flora and fauna not found in my backyard, fishing, rafting and swimming where it was clean enough became year round activities.  At the time (late ‘50s, early ‘60s) I heard warnings about “polluted” water. Indeed despite childhood fascination with the “outdoor” world, there were times when water color and odor were just beyond ignoring. A kid figures that’s just the way it is. Subsequent years spent traveling and witnessing the awesomeness of nature unimpacted by human development convinced me that the status quo was neither inevitable nor acceptable.
Though water quality improved substantially through the latter part of the 20th century due the aging out of old manufacturing techniques and increased regulation due to the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972, it is clear to anyone who spends time along the Quinnipiac, either walking, exploring or recreating that “clean” is still a ways off. There remains much to be done in terms of identifying sources of pollution, finding methods of prevention and remediation and enticing residents to enjoy and adopt this valuable local resource.
This awareness, and loyalty to my home town, is what attracted me to the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association and is what continues to motivate my service through this grass-roots environmental organization.Through advocacy and stewardship the QRWA seeks to bring about a river watershed impacted minimally by human enterprise. We may never have a natural, clean, rural river running through Meriden, but there’s no reason we can’t have a healthy, cared for, urban waterway/greenway. Indeed many of the tributaries feeding the Quinnipiac are already superior class streams because of wise development decisions in the past. This model can also work for the river as a whole as we move forward into the future.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Secondary Organization Category Recreation & Sports / Alliances & Advocacy
Areas Served
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Cheshire
Hamden
New Haven
North Haven
Wallingford
Although our headquarters is based in Meriden, and represents 97% of the watershed,  we are focusing on expanding our programs throughout the other 18 towns within the watershed and beyond. Other towns include Wallingford, Cheshire, Southington, North Haven, New Haven, Plantsville, Plainville, and some sections of Middletown, Middlefield, and Bristol CT 
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
In 2013, The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association worked along with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to revise the 2004 Quinnipiac Watershed Action Plan and transformed the plan into a CTDEEP and EPA-approved watershed based plan. The revised plan has incorporated recent water quality data and the bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Quinnipiac River,  and set goals & objectives to facilitate capacity building to re-engage the watershed municipalities, and has prioritized water bodies and implementation projects to reduce non-point source (NPS) pollutant loads in the watershed to improve water quality in the Quinnipiac River. This project was funded in part by the CTDEEP through an EPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grant, with additional outreach support from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven through the Quinnipiac River Fund. Fuss & O'Neill, Inc. was retained to lead the development of the watershed based plan, and worked with a Project Steering Committee and a Watershed Stakeholders Group consisting of representatives from the watershed municipalities, government organizations, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and others who live and work within the watershed to revise the plan. In December of 2013 the final watershed based plan report was completed by Fuss & O’Neill and presented to the QRWA Ad-hoc Committee.
Town leaders in which proposed projects were outlined in the plan were solicited to serve on the QRWA Steering Committee. In June, 2014, the QRWA Steering Committee for the Quinnipiac Watershed Base Plan Implementation (QWBPI) put together a "plan for the plan" and determined which of the proposed projects were attainable, and realistic in keeping with the goals and objectives of the QWBP.  The QRWA Steering Committee is currently seeking funding opportunities for the proposed projects.


 
Programs
Description Previously known as River Bioassessment (RBV) by CT DEEP. This program supports the QRWA’s volunteer monitoring and citizen science programs and helps the CT DEEP gather much-needed data to monitor the Q River’s environmental quality.
The program provides the CT DEEP with the highest possible quality voucher samples from locations within the Quinnipiac River basin and provides training and practice opportunities to volunteers to understand the science behind the program, and to demonstrate the correct way to collect, identify and process sample.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. As an instrument to engage students in the protocol of the program, this program is pared down and included in the environmental education programs throughout the year. 
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. This program is conducted in the fall for the best possible sampling. Each year the same locations are visited in order to effectively compare results in the water quality of the river. 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Success is monitored by CT DEEP record keeping of our data for collections are taken with CT DEEP protocol and supervised by a CT DEEP trained volunteer.  For programs used as a learning tool for students we measure what is working and what is not by the feed sheets provided to student and teachers after every program.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Feed back sheets are provided to students and teachers as well as the general public. Modifications are made according to negative or positive feed back. 
Description The program provides both high school and elementary students in the watershed and beyond to participate in field trips at the QRWA headquarters on the shores of Hanover Pond, where students participate in "hands on" experiments to support theories and concepts explained in the classroom that will connect them to the environment, the community and the river. Students are exposed to collecting macro invertebrates and return to the QRWA classroom to ID. Students also row flat boats out to other sections of the river to collect water samples that they test for water quality. Students also receive instructions to paddling, kayaking, fishing and fly tying. Select high schools and elementary participate in the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) whereby the trout that raise are released at their annual field trip. High school students also participate in a series of mini field trips throughout the year in the fields of water quality, flora and fauna photography and independent studies that are shared with their classmates at their annual full day field trip.
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. For schools participating in a series of mini field trips throughout the school year, specific projects are assigned to the students and each project has a start up and completion date. Students are required to present their projects to each other at their field trip to the QRWA.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. At the onset of each school year QRWA works closely with teachers to create programs that will meet and/or exceed a teachers curriculum. Success of the program is measured by feed back surveys from teachers, students and volunteers. 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. At the conclusion of each program, students, teachers and volunteers are asked to complete surveys that are designed to address all aspects of the program activities, time frames, organization, and to evaluate whether or not students were given clear instructions on how to use equipment and understand the activity. The QRWA Education Committee meets to discuss the feed back sheets to evaluate what worked and what didn't. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. At the end of each season we receive letters from students thanking us for the experience of combining education with recreation and express their excitement as seeing bald eagles, herons, and turtles while learning how to kayak.  For programs where we provide paddling to after school and summer camp students from New Haven, nothing is more gratifying than engaging youths to connect to the river and for many this is a first time experience. We know the program is doing well, when we are asked if they can come again the following year.
Description QRWA volunteers, and other dedicated citizens from the watershed clean debris from tributaries of the Quinnipiac River every Spring and Fall as part of the National River Cleanup efforts. Debris ranges from small, floatable litter such as bottles and packaging to tires, vehicle parts, and household debris weighing a couple thousand pounds. Our volunteers also report debris-prone areas to towns for fencing and other corrective action.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Every year QRWA hosts a fall and spring clean up in the same locations. Debris has lessened in areas where educating the public on recycling and proper disposal of trash. Participation of students engaging in the clean up efforts reinforces the importance of clean water.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. The long term success of this program would be an annual river clean up on the same day every year with all towns and cities in the watershed participating.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Utilizing team captains and assigning them the same locations every year helps to determine areas that require more frequent monitoring and the general public who may be repeat offenders, so that they can be educated. 
Description Students are taught the basics of canoeing, paddling techniques, using good judgment, safety and rescue. The two day workshop consisting of class room studies and hands on training. Students experience a canoe river trip to fine tune their newly learned skills and learn about canoe safety and rescue.
Population Served / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Students are given classroom video, and on the water instructions and safety and are measured by skilled instructors once they are on the water.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Students are asked to participate in a series of drills on the water, including emergency rescue and fast thinking situations to test their ability to paddle safely.   Students are also given survey sheets to complete at the end of the course. 
Description
The QRWA Paddle Committee and its fleet of canoes & kayaks provide paddling lessons, guided tours and recreational activities to families within the watershed. These paddling events provide the public an opportunity to experience the river, encounter wild life close up, and learn about the environment.  Paddling is provided at the Quinnipiac Riverfest, West River Festival, and on National Trails Day. Guided tours are provided to the general public upon request and a two day water safety and water course program is provided to Quinnipiac University Students. An introduction to kayaking is offered under the environmental education program to high school students as part of their field to get students out on the river. 
 
 
 
Population Served Families / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals No
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Success of this program is measured by being asked to return every year.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. This is our 6th year for both Quinnipiac and West Riverfest, and eight years for all others.
Program Comments
CEO Comments
Over 250 elementary and high school students participate annual at field trips to the QRWA facility. The 2017/2018 program continues to include 5th graders from the Meriden Public Schools. Students participate in a water quality program at their annual field trip.
 
Every year the QRWA 6 member paddle committee provides more than 300 volunteer hours of paddling to youths and their families in the watershed. Most of these events yield between 80 and 100 paddlers and an event can run from 3 to 6 hours. We are always seeking experienced paddlers to help with these events and a means to cover the cost of insurance per paddler. 
 
Our Annual Downriver Canoe/Kayak Race is in its 37th year and is considered the longest running Downriver Classic  in CT History. The five mile course starting point is at the Quinnipiac Canoe Launch located on Route 322 in Southington, CT and has its FINISH line at Red Bridge in Meriden, CT also the location of the Meriden Linear Trail. Racers racers disembark behind the QRWA headquarters to a  post race cook out and awards ceremony hosted by QRWA Board Members and Volunteers.  Event can yield up to 70 racers.
 
CEO/Executive Director
Organization is made up of all volunteers. There is no CEO.
Term Start Jan 1979
Email qrwainfo@att.net
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 75
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Virginia Chirsky Dec 2007 - Dec
Daniel Pelletier Jan 2013 - Jan
Senior Staff
Title Director of Grants and Education (Volunteer)
Experience/Biography Retired.  Twenty year corporate career in banking. Vice President of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Operations.  Certificates in Leadership, written and oral communications,  past president of Consumer Credit Association of Greater New Haven. Served as president for organization from Dec. 2007 to Dec. 2012. Currently serving on a volunteer basis in the role of Director of Grants and Education and Administration.  Received citation from General Assembly for restoration of city owned building that now serves as QRWA Headquarters
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Restoration of City Owned Building to serve as headquarters - Virginia ChirskyCitation from General Assembly Hartford CT2012
Monarch Weigh StationNational2012
Comments
CEO Comments
Currently soliciting for board members from other towns in the watershed; seeking support from North Haven, New Haven, Hamden.
 
Getting town leaders to engage in the Quinnipiac Watershed Base Plan to reduce non point source issues. QRWA devoted 18 months working with Fuss & O'Neill and CT DEEP to finalize the plan. QRWA is seeking funding to hire a Watershed Coordinator who will be able to interact with town leaders to educate them and engage them in the plan. QRWA is actively seeking funding opportunities for proposed projects.
Board Chair
David James
Company Affiliation President
Term Jan 2018 to Jan 2019
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Virginia Chirsky Director
Tim Cutler Vice President
Shianne Cutler Director
Martin Horsky Secretary
Roger Kemp Director
Mike Mordarski Treasurer
Anna Neumon Director
Peter Picone Director
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 3
Board Co-Chair
Tim Cutler
Company Affiliation Vice President
Term Jan 2018 to Jan 2019
Email timothy.d.cutler@gmail.com
Standing Committees
Education
Executive
Finance
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Building
Membership
CEO Comments
We do not currently have an executive director. At present all of our programs are supported and provided by QRWA board members, volunteers, and educators with degrees and/or certificates in environmental science, biology, ecology, management. All of our student programs are currently under the direction of a full time staff volunteer with experience in grant writing, administration, and works directly with educators. We currently have administrative support one day a week and presence at events. We are currently seeking funding opportunities for staff support and an internship program to support administrative duties, summer programs at our facility for 2018 and to assist with projects related to the watershed plan.  
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $21,000.00
Projected Expenses $18,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Affilation with Groups and Other Organizations2016View
High School Environmental Education2014View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$17,671$68,562$49,705
Government Contributions$5,000$10,000$0
Federal------
State------
Local$5,000$10,000--
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
------
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues$1,935$3,270$2,305
Special Events$3,003$4,056$4,609
Revenue In-Kind------
Other------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$38,679$36,806$58,783
Administration Expense------
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.712.330.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%100%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$67,246$78,316$29,233
Current Assets$67,246$78,316$29,233
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$67,246$78,316$29,233
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountCUNO Foundation $5,0003M Foundation $48,000CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection $21,032
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountTown of North Haven $5,000Town of Wallingford $10,000Town of Wallingford $5,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --CUNO Foundation $4,000Meriden Foundation $5,000
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments

We do not currently have an audit of our finances, but we are working with a CPA to become audit ready and are in the process of converting to Quick Books before year end as a tool for implementing all our accounting records going forward.

Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2825
Meriden, CT 06450
Primary Phone 203 237-2237
Contact Email qrwainfo@att.net
Website http://qrwa.org
CEO/Executive Director Organization is made up of all volunteers. There is no CEO.
Board Chair David James
Board Chair Company Affiliation President

 

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