New Reserve Moves Forward to Showcase CT Estuaries
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
GROTON, Conn. -- Connecticut soon may get a special reserve to spotlight its estuaries -- where the Connecticut and Thames rivers meet Long Island Sound. It doesn't have an official name yet, but the public can learn more about the proposed National Estuarine Research Reserve at an online public meeting in early August.
University of Connecticut marine sciences professor Jamie Vaudrey said the area is critical habitat for dozens of species, including many on the state endangered species list.
"Favorite ones around here tend to be ospreys, salt marsh sparrow, piping plover, turtles, lizards and snakes," he said. "This is the place where, ideally, we want foxes to live, and the eastern cottontail rabbit."
The proposed reserve would be headquartered at UConn Avery Point and cover 75 miles of state-owned land and water, including Great Island and Lord Cove wildlife management areas, as well as Bluff Point and Haley Farm state parks. It would not impose any new restrictions on recreational or commercial fishing or aquaculture.
Kevin O'Brien, supervising environmental analyst for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the proposed reserve would encourage more education programs and stewardship projects in the area -- and enable more research into big issues, such as ways to fight pollution and climate change.
"So how might we best adapt to sea-level rise in marshes? Beneficial use of material for habitat restoration; implement living shorelines, things like that," he said.
Vaudrey noted that the marshes help improve water quality.
"Red tides and brown tides, and massive amounts of seaweed collecting on our beaches, can all be traced back to nitrogen and other nutrients from human activity," he said," and natural areas act as filters, because they use up those nutrients before they hit those coastal waters."
The proposed reserve is expected to become a reality within two years.
More information is online at pewtrusts.org.
Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
get more stories like this via email
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…
INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …
Health and Wellness
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …