With the seasonal boat barrier now reinstalled on the Connecticut River above the dam at Barton Cove in Gill and Montague, Massachusetts, FirstLight Power is urging the boating public to practice safety and exercise caution when enjoying this popular warm-weather recreational resource.
“Memorial Day is the traditional start of boating season, but river currents can be quite strong at this time of year, and the water still quite cold, so please be extra careful if you go out,’’ said Len Greene, Director of Government Affairs and Communications at FirstLight, which manages the Barton Cove Recreation Area as part of its federal operating licenses for the nearby Northfield Mountain, Turners Falls, and Cabot hydroelectric facilities.
“Particularly this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic is putting such strain on the healthcare system, none of us wants to subject our families, our friends, or our first responders to unnecessary risks, so boating safely on the Connecticut is more important than ever this spring and summer. We urge everyone enjoying boating on the river to remember to wear your life vest whenever you’re on the water. FirstLight’s first priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and the members of our community who use our trails, public spaces, and recreational facilities.”
In keeping with the recommendations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to avoid public gatherings, FirstLight announced earlier this month that it would not be opening its campground and canoe and kayak rental at Barton Cove, or the Munns Ferry rustic campground, until further notice.
“FirstLight understands and regrets the disappointment this will mean for campers, canoers, kayakers, and other visitors who have enjoyed these facilities for decades, and the company hopes to reopen them to the public as soon as public health authorities affirm it is safe to do so,’’ Greene said.