Many Westporters are familiar with the iconic “Save Cockenoe Now” poster:
Created by Walter and Naiad Einsel, it helped spur citizens — who then pressured town officials — to purchase the island from United Illuminating.
In a move that sounds unfathomable today, the utility wanted to build a nuclear power plant right there, a mile off Compo Beach.
There was plenty of opposition. But UI had a good deal of support, too.
The Einsels were not the only ones rallying Westporters with artwork. Almost 54 years ago to the day, this was the scene:
The campaign worked.
The town paid approximately $200,000 for Cockenoe Island — UI’s purchase price. State and federal funds covered 75% of the cost. Westport now owns Cockenoe — in perpetuity.
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