Photo of Senator Kushner.

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Representing Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman

Senator Kushner Excited, Thankful as Inaugural Round of Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program Funding Heavily Benefits Candlewood Lake, Local Waters


Today, State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) was excited by the announcement that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's inaugural round of grant funding through the Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program included significant financial support for her district's local waters, most notably its support for Candlewood Lake. The grant program was initially created in 2019 as the state established an Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp fee – the funds go to programs protecting lakes, ponds and rivers by addressing aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria blooms. A total of $360,000 will be distributed to 21 projects statewide.

"Our state's lakes, ponds and rivers are amongst our greatest strengths. This isn't just because of the recreational value and natural beauty they bring, however. They also become an important economic driver for surrounding towns and cities. But our gorgeous lakes, rivers and ponds are under attack by invasive species. Candlewood Lake and Lake Kenosia, among others statewide, have fallen victim to invasive species like Eurasian milfoil, and more recently Zebra Mussels," said Sen. Kushner. "In 2019, I fought for legislation creating the Invasive Species Stamp, and today, it’s beginning to fulfill its purpose. The dispersal of $360,000 statewide to protect lakes and ponds is wonderful. I'm especially appreciative of the support for Candlewood Lake, Ball Pond and Lake Kenosia in the 24th Senate District. It will be great for these lakes and ponds to come back to life and remain safe from threatening vegetation, giving the local community much more to enjoy."

Projects statewide receiving funding are intended to improve and benefit lakes and ponds, as well as stretches of the Connecticut River. Projects of note include:

  • The Candlewood Lake Authority will receive $26,711 to support education and outreach of the Candlewood Lake Watershed Steward Program. That program informs boaters on aquatic invasive species threatening Candlewood Lake.
  • The Ball Pond Advisory Committee in New Fairfield will receive $2,960.11 to support research including identification and monitoring of cyanobacteria in Ball Pond using plankton tows and fluorometry.
  • Edwin M. Long, Ph.D, Western Connecticut State University will receive $3,225 to support research into identifying and quantifying toxin genes from cyanobacteria in Connecticut waterways including Candlewood Lake.
  • The Housatonic Valley Association will receive $25,500 to support removal of water chestnut from Danbury's Lake Kenosia.