Seated are Alex Klee, Comm. Robert Klee, Cathy Wick and Mike Raymond. Alex is Comm. Klee’s son, age 11. He is a 2nd grade student at Beecher Road School. Comm. Klee has given us permission to include this information.
Woodbridge resident and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Robert Klee addressed the Woodbridge Land Trust Board of Directors at its October meeting. Commissioner Klee reviewed the recent history of the DEEP, explaining that the department was expanded in 2011 and is now dedicated to conserving, improving and protecting our natural resources and the environment, including increasing the availability of cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy. Environmental quality remains the “heart of the agency” according to Klee and encompasses the following departments: Wildlife, Parks, and Land Acquisition and Property Grants. DEEP’s main areas of concern regarding environmental quality are: climate change, resiliency and adaptation, and the importance of natural systems such as wetlands and marshes as buffers protecting critical habitats for wildlife.
On the subject of land acquisition and grants, Commissioner Klee reviewed DEEPs acquisition criteria and noted that DEEP now has consistent grant rounds every year, so that groups seeking grants can rely on a predictable cycle. This fall, the grant round totaled $5 million and the state has authorized $40 million for land acquisition for 2015/2016.
Klee, a native of Fairfield, Connecticut served as Chief of Staff for three years under his predecessor, Commissioner Dan Esty, before assuming the position himself.
The Woodbridge Land Trust is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization devoted to conserving open space and natural resources in Woodbridge, Connecticut for public benefit. All donations go directly to land preservation and are tax deductible according to law.