Quinnipiac River Fund

The Quinnipiac River Fund’s mission is to improve the environmental quality of the Quinnipiac River, New Haven Harbor and the surrounding watersheds. Each year the Fund distributes more than $100,000 to organizations that work toward this goal.  Funds are made available through annual grants that support studies of the ecology, studies of pollution, public access to the river, land use planning, land acquisition around the river, habitat restoration, advocacy, education, and other relevant projects.

Fund History

The Quinnipiac River Fund was established in 1990 as part of a court settlement of litigation between the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Upjohn Company, concerning wastewater discharges from the Upjohn Company's plant in North Haven. The Upjohn Company was ordered to pay $1.2 million dollars over three years, which established a permanent fund at the New Haven Foundation, the previous name of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

The parties agreed that the income generated by the Fund would be used to “improve the environmental quality of the Quinnipiac River, New Haven Harbor and the surrounding watersheds of these waterbodies and otherwise to benefit the environment of these resources.”

The Fund is led by an Advisory Committee and facilitated by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Advisory Committee

The Quinnipiac River Fund advisory committee consists of three members: two appointed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and one by the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.

Nancy Alderman, MES, is President of Environment and Human Health, Inc.  Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI) is an organization dedicated to protecting human health from environmental harms through education, research and the promotion of sound public policy.  Alderman received her MES degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1997.

Alderman is a Past President of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment; Past Member of the Governor's Pollution  Prevention Task Force; Past Member of the National Board of the Environmental Defense Fund ; Past Recipient of the Environmental Law Section of the CT Bar -  The  Clyde Fisher Award;  and a Past Recipient of the New England Public Health Association's Huestis/Mood Award,  given to individuals for outstanding  contributions in the area of environmental health.

EHHI is comprised of ten people who are physicians, public health professionals and policy experts. Some of the ten people are: Professor at the Yale Medical School's Department of Occupational and  Environmental Medicine;  Past Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Public Health;  Past Toxicologist for the State of Connecticut; Two Pediatricians; an Oncologist; a Professor of  Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine, to name just a few.

Gordon T. Geballe, PhD is Associate Dean of Alumni and External Affairs and Lecturer in Urban Ecology, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Applying the concepts of ecosystem ecology to the study of humans is the principal focus of Dr. Geballe’s current interests. Of special interest to Dr. Geballe is the development of community organization, the role of formal and informal environmental education, and the identification of urban environmental issues. These topics are the focus of his teaching and numerous projects in New Haven. Dr. Geballe is coauthor of the book Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony (second edition, 2001) and a founding member of the Urban Resource Initiative, of which he has continuously served as a board member since its inception in 1991. He also serves as chair of the board of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The festival, which draws over 100,000 visitors to New Haven each June, showcases New Haven’s arts and educational traditions while bringing renowned international stars, newly discovered artists, and a number of U.S. and world premieres each season. He is a former board chair of Dwight Hall, a nonprofit that engages thousands of Yale students each year in service and social justice activities.

Roman N. Zajac, PhD is Chair of the Biology and Environmental Science Department and the coordinator of the Graduate Program in Environmental Science at the University of New Haven. Zajac has served as Chair of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Standing Committee on Long Island Sound Research. Zajac has a special interest developing and using underwater imaging systems to characterize and study sea floor communities and habitats along coastal regions such as Long Island Sound. Zajac has also used Geographic Information System technology to map the Quinnipiac River watershed.