Shoreline Restoration Project
West Haven Shoreline Restoration Project: Phase 1
After consulting with the New Haven office of Save the Sound and the Land Trust of West Haven Inc., the city launched the first of a three-phase project on Oct. 6, 2021, to restore the beachfront parcels along the Savin Rock boardwalk that were previously overrun by invasive plant species.
The West Haven Shoreline Restoration Project will unfold over the next two years in the following phases:
- Remove invasive plants.
- Perform a site analysis and recommend restoration alternatives.
- Choose a restoration design and implement it.
The project’s ultimate goal is to showcase the best practices of coastal resilience in a way that is educational and enjoyable while enhancing West Haven’s regional reputation.
West Haven Shoreline Restoration Project: Phase 2
The West Haven Shoreline Restoration Committee has chosen GEI Consultants Inc. for Phase 2 of the West Haven Boardwalk Resilience and Eco-Restoration Project.
Over the next four months, the committee will collaborate with the Glastonbury consulting company to complete the coastal resilience and ecological restoration of a 1 ½-acre portion of the West Haven shoreline adjacent to Old Grove Park.
The committee, also known as the SRC, will announce its final plans to the public in February 2024.
The project’s target outcomes and impacts include:
- The restoration of 1 ½ acres of native coastal habitat and improved habitat connectivity to adjacent public green spaces.
- A long-term plan for invasive plant control and restoration maintenance at the site.
- A living classroom for public school and public use that includes interpretive signage linking by QR code to in-depth information on the Land Trust of West Haven’s website.
- Free educational events on-site designed to appeal to a range of audiences and ages.
- Improvements to public amenities, including benches and walking paths at the site.
- Access for residents under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including access mats to the beach area.
- The creation of a replicable model for use by similar coastal restoration efforts in other communities.
- More site visitors equating to more economic opportunity in the area.
The SRC is composed of members of the Land Trust, the city and the City Council, as well as residents who volunteer with local environmental groups.
Members of the West Haven Shoreline Restoration Committee and officials of GEI Consultants Inc. of Glastonbury conduct a site visit at the West Haven Boardwalk Resilience and Eco-Restoration Project on Oct. 23, 2023. From left, project co-lead Mark E. Paine Jr., the director of the West Haven Department of Parks and Recreation; Jane Whelan of the Menunkatuck Audubon Society; Ron Walters of the Native Plant Initiative; Kathy Hebert of the Land Trust of West Haven; Robin Parsons of the Native Plant Initiative; and Michael Koontz, GEI’s senior urban design/waterfront planning practice leader, and Laura Schwanof, GEI’s landscape architect/ecological practice leader. Missing from photo is project co-lead Marilyn Wilkes, the Land Trust’s vice president. (SRC Photo/Marilyn Wilkes)
Fourteen West Haven High School digital media students are participating in the University of Connecticut’s Eco-Digital Storytellers program. (WHHS Photo/Shacqwan Kingston)
Announcements & News Releases
(2/20/2024): West Haven High Students Document Shoreline Restoration Project Through UConn’s Eco-Digital Storytellers Program (PDF)
(10/23/2023): GEI Consultants Chosen for Boardwalk Eco-Restoration Project (PDF)
(12/16/2022): Boardwalk Eco-Restoration Project Concepts Unveiled (PDF) | See the Concepts (PDF)
(10/17/2022): Boardwalk Eco-Restoration Project Website and Survey Announced (PDF)
(8/8/2022): $200,000 Appropriated for West Haven Shoreline Restoration Project (PDF)
(7/12/2022): Shoreline Restoration Committee Selects SLR International Corp. for West Haven Shorefront Project (PDF)