The last two weeks had some great moments for our Stonington fishing community. As many of you know, Stonington is home to the last major commercial fishing fleet in CT, along with two wholesale businesses.
First, we were so grateful to everyone in the community who helped celebrate the 69th Annual Blessing of the Fleet. Over the course of four days, a series of events were put together by various local residents, and ended with the official blessing of the fishing fleet down at the Town Docks. Please check out the attached flyer for ideas on how to continue your support for our local fishing fleet all year long! And mark you calendars for the end of July 2023 for our 70th annual Blessing tradition.
Secondly, thanks to a partnership between the First Selectman and Congressman Courtney's offices, along with our local fishermen and supportive community members (we received over 30 unique letters of support for this funding application!), the Town got good news regarding funding to repair the North Pier at the Town docks. Over $900,000 was approved by Congress for this important project. There are still more hurdles to pass before it is fully confirmed, but this was a major milestone to help repair this critical infrastructure. The Stonington Town Dock, originally constructed in the 1830s, consists of two piers, and is crucial for the jobs of both the nearly 100 fishermen, along with two wholesale businesses located at the Town Dock. The Town Dock is leased by the Southern New England Fishermen and Lobstermen’s Association (SNEFLA) from the Town of Stonington. The 330-foot North Pier needs major maintenance, particularly the onboard pilings, batter pilings and framing lumber along the northern edge. This funding, if fully passed, will go a long way to helping ensure the future of the Town Dock for our fishing community.
And thanks to a group of Stonington fishermen in cooperation with the Economic Development Commission and Empire Fisheries, we have a new branding initiative to promote our local, fresh seafood in Stonington. The new website is www.stoningtonfresh.com. Look for the “Stonington Fresh” logo on trucks, area restaurant menus and in fish markets. You can also purchase shirts! To learn more or follow the progress visiting our Stonington1649 site or Stonington Fishermen Good News social media pages. You can also watch this great interview by Tina Detelj and WTNH News 8 https://www.stoningtonfresh.com/in-the-news
Thank you all for the support for our wonderful, local fishing community! Please help us share- and buy local!