Background

Although the Connecticut River has been characterized as one of the nation's most scenic rivers, the river was so grossly polluted in the 1960s that it was classified as suitable only for transportation of sewage and industrial wastes (Conniff, 1990). The deplorable condition of the river discouraged development along the waterfront and adjacent shorelands over long reaches of the lower river. In recent years, improvements in the river's water quality have resulted in the Lower Connecticut River's becoming a popular place for boating and recreation. Perhaps most telling of all, the shorelines of the Connecticut River are now under the new threat of suburban development. The historic turnaround in the quality of the river can be correlated with the

enactment of the 1972 CWA, which resulted in the construction and upgrading of wastewater treatment plants along the length of the river, including three major treatment plants serving the Hartford area.

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