Project CLEAR

Candlewood Lake Environmental Awareness and Responsibility

Project CLEAR (Candlewood Lake Environmental Awareness and Responsibility) all began with a vision back in 2001.  Here, in Candlewood Lake, we had this great educational resource, but it wasn't being used as such.  That year, Project CLEAR started as a small drop...or maybe a trickle.  In its first year, Project CLEAR was introduced to the New Fairfield High School students by the Candlewood Lake Authority.  

CLEAR took a step forward when the CLA partnered with Education Connection, who took on the role of program adminstrators who provide program funding through a State of CT grant.  Currently Project CLEAR serves five school sytems (Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford) where each year around 125 high school students participate in this amazing program and over the 10 year period from 2003-2013 this program brought in over $1 million in educational benefits to the community.

The students spend a couple of days during the school year training and learning about the research they will be conducting during the summer.  Then, once the school year has ended, the students spend a week on Candlewood Lake, where the CLA and a fleet of volunteer boat captains transport up to 10 different research groups and their teachers around the Lake to conduct their field research.

The research they do has proven to be valuable not only to us, but to other professionals in the State of Connecticut who have relied on the Project CLEAR student research data to support research of their own.


The research groups include: 

  1. Fisheries

  2. Water Quality

  3. Plankton

  4. Shoreline

  5. Forestry

  6. Aquatic Invasives

  7. Sediments

  8. Streams

  9. Periphyton

  10. Aquatic Insects