Long Island Sound
Overview
 
Long Island Sound is an estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, located in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 between Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 to the north and Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 to the south. The mouth of the Connecticut River
Connecticut River
The Connecticut River is the largest and longest river in New England, and also an American Heritage River. It flows roughly south, starting from the Fourth Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire. After flowing through the remaining Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis, it defines the border between the...

 at Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Old Saybrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,367 at the 2000 census. It contains the incorporated borough of Fenwick, as well as the census-designated places of Old Saybrook Center and Saybrook Manor.-History:...

, empties into the sound. On its western end the sound is bounded by the Bronx and Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

, and connects to the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

. On its eastern end it opens to Block Island Sound
Block Island Sound
Block Island Sound is a strait in the open Atlantic Ocean, approximately wide, separating Block Island from the coast of Rhode Island in the United States...

.
Several major cities are situated along Long Island Sound and more than 8 million people live within its watershed.
Encyclopedia
Long Island Sound is an estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, located in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 between Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 to the north and Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 to the south. The mouth of the Connecticut River
Connecticut River
The Connecticut River is the largest and longest river in New England, and also an American Heritage River. It flows roughly south, starting from the Fourth Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire. After flowing through the remaining Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis, it defines the border between the...

 at Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Old Saybrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,367 at the 2000 census. It contains the incorporated borough of Fenwick, as well as the census-designated places of Old Saybrook Center and Saybrook Manor.-History:...

, empties into the sound. On its western end the sound is bounded by the Bronx and Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

, and connects to the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

. On its eastern end it opens to Block Island Sound
Block Island Sound
Block Island Sound is a strait in the open Atlantic Ocean, approximately wide, separating Block Island from the coast of Rhode Island in the United States...

.

Shoreline

Several major cities are situated along Long Island Sound and more than 8 million people live within its watershed. Major Connecticut cities on the Sound include Bridgeport
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

, New London
New London, Connecticut
New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States.It is located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, southeastern Connecticut....

, Stamford
Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643, making it the fourth largest city in the state and the eighth largest city in New England...

, Norwalk
Norwalk, Connecticut
Norwalk is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city is 85,603, making Norwalk sixth in population in Connecticut, and third in Fairfield County...

, and New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

. Cities on the New York side of the Sound include Rye
Rye (city), New York
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which is larger than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until 1942, when it received its charter as a city, the most recent to be issued in New York...

, Glen Cove
Glen Cove, New York
Glen Cove is a city in Nassau County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 26,964....

, New Rochelle
New Rochelle, New York
New Rochelle is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state.The town was settled by refugee Huguenots in 1688 who were fleeing persecution in France...

, and portions of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 (the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx).

Mansions and wealthy neighborhoods characterize a good portion of the coast of the sound from Whitestone, Queens
Whitestone, Queens
Whitestone is a residential neighborhood in the northernmost part of the City of New York borough of Queens. Located between the East River to the north and 25th Avenue to the south. Whitestone is surrounded by College Point, Flushing, Bayside, Auburndale, Linden Hill, and Murray Hill...

 out to Port Jefferson
Port Jefferson, New York
The Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson is located in the town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the 2000 United States Census, the village population was 7,837...

 on Long Island; and from Pelham Manor
Pelham Manor, New York
Pelham Manor is a village located in Westchester County, New York, USA. As of the 2010 census, the village had a total population of 5,486. It is located in the town of Pelham.- Demographics :...

 and New Rochelle
New Rochelle, New York
New Rochelle is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state.The town was settled by refugee Huguenots in 1688 who were fleeing persecution in France...

 (on the mainland of New York) to Madison
Madison, Connecticut
Madison is a town in the southeastern corner of New Haven County, Connecticut, occupying a central location on Connecticut's Long Island Sound shoreline. The population was 18,812 at the 2000 census....

 in Connecticut. Property values in Westchester County
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

, Long Island, and southwestern Connecticut are among the highest in the nation, due to the proximity to New York City and their location on "The Sound".

Climate and geography

Glacial history

About 18,000 years ago, Connecticut, Long Island Sound, and much of Long Island were covered by a thick sheet of ice, part of the Late Wisconsin Glacier. About 3,300 feet (1,000 m) thick in its interior and about 1300 to 1600 ft (396.2 to 487.7 m) thick along its southern edge, it was the most recent of a series of glaciations that covered the area during the past 10 million years. Sea level at that time was about 330 feet (100 m) lower than today.

The continental ice sheet scraped off an average of 65 feet (20 m) of surface material from the New England landscape, then deposited the material (known as drift
Drift (geology)
In geology, drift is the name for all material of glacial origin found anywhere on land or at sea , including sediment and large rocks...

) from the Connecticut coast into the Sound, creating what is now Long Island (the terminal moraine
Terminal moraine
A terminal moraine, also called end moraine, is a moraine that forms at the end of the glacier called the snout.Terminal moraines mark the maximum advance of the glacier. An end moraine is at the present boundary of the glacier....

). When the ice sheet stopped advancing 18,000 years ago (as addition of snow at the origin was in equilibrium with the melting at the southern edge), a large amount of drift was deposited, known as the Ronkonkoma Moraine, which stretches along much of southern Long Island. Later, another period of equilibrium resulted in the Harbor Hill Moraine along most of northern Long Island
North Shore (Long Island)
The North Shore of Long Island is the area along Long Island's northern coast, bordering Long Island Sound. The region has long been the most affluent on Long Island, as well as the most affluent in the New York metropolitan area, which has earned it the nickname "the Gold Coast." Though some...

. The next moraines (recessional moraines) to the north were created just on and off the Connecticut coast. These moraines, created by much smaller deposits (probably from equilibrium states that were much shorter in time) are discontinuous and much smaller than those to the south.
The Connecticut coast moraines are in two groups: the Norwalk
Norwalk, Connecticut
Norwalk is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city is 85,603, making Norwalk sixth in population in Connecticut, and third in Fairfield County...

 area and the Madison
Madison, Connecticut
Madison is a town in the southeastern corner of New Haven County, Connecticut, occupying a central location on Connecticut's Long Island Sound shoreline. The population was 18,812 at the 2000 census....

-Old Saybrook
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Old Saybrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,367 at the 2000 census. It contains the incorporated borough of Fenwick, as well as the census-designated places of Old Saybrook Center and Saybrook Manor.-History:...

 area. Sandy plains and beaches resulted from the erosion of moraines and redeposition in these areas, and to the east of each, where the drift cover is thinnest, exposed bedrock creates rocky Tobacco Brown headlands, often with Killarney marshlands behind them.

The Captain Islands
Great Captain Island
Great Captain Island, also known more familiarly as "Great Captains Island," is an island off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut, and is the location of the 19th-century Great Captain Island Lighthouse....

 off Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 61,171. It is home to many hedge funds and other financial service companies. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut and is 38+ minutes ...

, along with the Norwalk Islands
Norwalk Islands
The Norwalk Islands are a chain of more than 25 islands amid partly submerged boulders, reefs and mudflats along a six-mile stretch and mostly about a mile off the coast of Norwalk, Connecticut and southwest Westport, Connecticut, in Long Island Sound.The islands are used for several different...

 and Falkner Island
Falkner Island
Falkner Island is a 4.5 acre crescent-shaped island located in Long Island Sound 3 miles off the coast of Guilford, Connecticut, USA....

 off Guilford, Connecticut
Guilford, Connecticut
Guilford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, that borders Madison, Branford, North Branford and Durham, and is situated on I-95 and the coast. The population was 21,398 at the 2000 census...

 are parts of a recessional moraine. (Other islands, including the Thimble Islands
Thimble Islands
Ghost Island redirects here. For the island in Japan, see Hashima Island.The Thimble Islands is an archipelago consisting of small islands in Long Island Sound, located in and around the harbor of Stony Creek in the southeast corner of Branford, Connecticut.The archipelago of islands made up of...

, are for the most part exposed bedrock with a thin amount of drift, often not continuous. Other shoals and islands off the Connecticut coast are a mixture of these two extremes. The glacier also created several sandy outwash deltas off the coast, including one off Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

 and another off New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

. Fishers Island, New York appears to be related to the Harbor Hill Moraine. To the east of the Thimble Islands, inland moraines along the Connecticut coast include the broken Madison Moraine and the Old Saybrook Moraine.

The Long Island Sound basin existed before the glaciers came. It probably had been formed by stream flows. A relatively thick cover of sand and gravel (termed outwash) was left in the basin from glacial meltwater streams. On the west, a ridge rising to about 65 feet (20 m) below the present sea level is called the Mattatuck Sill. Its lowest point is about 80 feet (25 m) below sea level. Glacial meltwater formed "Lake Connecticut
Lake Connecticut
Glacial Lake Connecticut formed over what is now Long Island Sound and coastal Connecticut at the fore edge of the ice sheet of the Wisconsin glaciation, as the lobe of the Laurentide ice sheet began to retreat, some 18,000 to 20,000 years ago. It was dammed by the terminal moraine that now forms...

", a freshwater lake in the basin, until about 8,000 years ago, when the sea level rose to about 80 feet (25 m) below today's level. Seawater then overflowed into the basin, transforming it from a nontidal, freshwater lake to a tidal, saline arm of the sea.

Rivers

Numerous rivers empty into the Sound, including:

Connecticut
  • Connecticut River
    Connecticut River
    The Connecticut River is the largest and longest river in New England, and also an American Heritage River. It flows roughly south, starting from the Fourth Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire. After flowing through the remaining Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis, it defines the border between the...

     - Old Saybrook
  • Housatonic River
    Housatonic River
    The Housatonic River is a river, approximately long, in western Massachusetts and western Connecticut in the United States. It flows south to southeast, and drains about of southwestern New England into Long Island Sound...

     - Stratford
  • Mill River (Quinnipiac River) - New Haven
  • Mill River (Fairfield)
    Mill River (Fairfield)
    The Mill River is a river in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut. It flows into Long Island Sound at Southport harbor.Dams on the Mill River form the Easton, Hemlock, and Samp Mortar Lake Reservoirs and control downstream flow....

     - Fairfield
  • Norwalk River
    Norwalk River
    The Norwalk River is a river in southwestern Connecticut, approximately long. The word "Norwalk" comes from the Algonquian word "noyank" meaning "point of land".-Description:...

     - Norwalk
  • Pequonnock River
    Pequonnock River
    The Pequonnock River is a waterway in eastern Fairfield County, Connecticut, flowing through the city of Bridgeport. The river has a penchant for flooding, particularly in spring since the removal of a retention dam in Trumbull in the 1950s. There seems to be a sharp difference of opinion among...

     - Bridgeport
  • Rippowam River
    Rippowam River
    The Rippowam River is a river in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It drains a watershed area of and flows for from Ridgefield to Long Island Sound, which it enters in Stamford's harbor....

     - Stamford
  • Saugatuck River
    Saugatuck River
    The Saugatuck River is a river in southwestern Connecticut in the United States. It drains part of suburban and rural Fairfield County west of Bridgeport, emptying into Long Island Sound.-Description:...

     - Westport
  • Thames River (Connecticut)
    Thames River (Connecticut)
    The Thames River is a short river and tidal estuary in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It flows south for through eastern Connecticut from the junction of the Yantic and Shetucket rivers at Norwich, to New London and Groton, which flank its mouth at the Long Island Sound.Differing from its...

     - Groton & New London
  • Quinnipiac River
    Quinnipiac River
    The Quinnipiac River is a river in the New England region of the United States, located entirely in the state of Connecticut.It rises in west central Connecticut from Dead Wood Swamp west of the city of New Britain...

     - New Haven
  • West River (Connecticut)
    West River (Connecticut)
    The West River is a freshwater stream in southern Connecticut. It flows through the towns of Bethany, Woodbridge, and New Haven before discharging into the West Haven Harbor....

     - West Haven
  • Mianus River
    Mianus River
    The Mianus River is a river in Westchester County, New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut, in the United States. It begins in the town of North Castle, New York in a series of ponds at about altitude...

     - Greenwich


New York
  • Byram River
    Byram River
    The Byram River is a river approximately in length, in southeast New York and southwestern Connecticut in the United States.The river has an elevation of at its headwaters at Byram Lake in Westchester County, New York, and flows in a southward direction, crossing the New York-Connecticut border...

     - Port Chester

Seaweed

Seaweeds in the Sound occur in greatest abundance in rocky areas between high tide and low tide as well as on rocks on the lucky point sea floor. Green seaweed populations fluctuate with the seasons. Monostroma
Monostroma
In taxonomy, Monostroma is a genus of algae, specifically of the Monostromataceae.-Scientific databases:* * *...

, with a hue of Atlantis, reproduces in the early spring and dies out by late summer. Grinnellia appears in August and poofs four to six weeks later.

In the rocky areas of the intertidal zone there are the seaweeds, which are characterized by their brown tone, Fucus
Fucus
Fucus is a genus of brown algae found in the intertidal zones of rocky seashores almost throughout the world.-Description and life cycle:...

 and Ascophyllum, which both have air bladders that allow them to float and receive direct sunlight even at high tide. Also present are Ectocarpus and Polysiphonia
Polysiphonia
Polysiphonia is a genus of red alga with about 19 species on the coasts of the British Isles  and about 200 species world-wide, including Crete in Greece, Antarctica and Greenland.  Its members are known by a number of common names.Recorded common names are olann dhearg, craonach, cúnach...

, which only grow attached to these two brown seaweeds. Red algas Porphyra
Porphyra
Porphyra is a foliose red algal genus of laver, comprising approximately 70 species. It grows in the intertidal zone, typically between the upper intertidal zone and the splash zone in cold waters of temperate oceans. In East Asia, it is used to produce the sea vegetable products nori and gim ,...

 and Chondrus
Chondrus
Chondrus is a genus of red alga whose most famous species is C. crispus....

 (Irish Moss
Irish moss
Chondrus crispus, known under the common name Irish moss, or carrageen moss , is a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America...

).

In the marshy areas of the intertidal zone can be found Cladophora
Cladophora
Cladophora is a genus of reticulated filamentous Ulvophyceae . The genus Cladophora contains many species that are very hard to tell apart and classify, mainly because of the great variation in their appearances, which is affected by habitat, age and environmental conditions...

 (Mermaid's Hair), Enteromorpha
Enteromorpha
Enteromorpha is an outdated sea-plant taxon. Genetic analysis has resulted in the genus Enteromorpha being merged with the genus Ulva, commonly known as Sea lettuce....

, Ulva
Ulva
Ulva is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, off the west coast of Mull. It is separated from Mull by a narrow strait, and connected to the neighbouring island of Gometra by a bridge. Much of the island is formed from Tertiary basalt rocks, which is formed into columns in places.Ulva has...

 (Sea Lettuce
Sea lettuce
The sea lettuces comprise the genus Ulva, a group of edible green algae that is widely distributed along the coasts of the world's oceans. The type species within the genus Ulva is Ulva lactuca Linnaeus, "lactuca" meaning lettuce...

) and Codium
Codium
Codium is a genus of seaweed in the Chlorophyta of the Order Bryopsidales. There are about 50 species worldwide. -Description:The genus has thalli of two forms, either erect or prostrate. The erect plants are dichotomously branched to 40 cm long with branches forming a compact spongy...

.

In the subtidal zone (below low tide) are Palmaria
Palmaria
Palmaria may refer to:*Palmaria , an island in the Ligurian Sea, Italy*Palmaria , an Italian-made self-propelled howitzer*Palmaria , a genus of red algae*Palmaria palmata, a species of red algae...

a red alga, along with two algae, Laminaria
Laminaria
Laminaria is a genus of 31 species of brown algae , all sharing the common name "kelp". This economically important genus is characterized by long, leathery laminae and relatively large size. Some species are referred to by the common name Devil's apron, due to their shape, or sea colander, due to...

 (Kelp
Kelp
Kelps are large seaweeds belonging to the brown algae in the order Laminariales. There are about 30 different genera....

) and Chorda
Chorda
Chorda is a genus of thalloid brown algae including two species. Its members are known by a number of common names.Recorded common names are mermaid's fishing line, tsurumo, ruálach, doruithe briain, sea laces, mermaids line, roccálach, ruadhálach, gemeine meersaite, bootlace weed, seatwine,...

. Kelp can often be found washed up on the chalky beach, and individual specimens are not uncommonly a yard or two long. Deeper in the subtidal zone are valencia hued algae such as Spermothamnion, Antithamnion and Callithamnion, which also often float freely.

In tidal pools can be found red or pink colored Hildebrandtia
Hildebrandtia (plant)
Hildebrandtia is a plant genus in family Convolvulaceae.-Species of Hildebrandtia:* Hildebrandtia africana * Hildebrandtia aloysii* Hildebrandtia promontorii* Hildebrandtia sepalosa* Hildebrandtia valo...

 and Phymatolithon
Phymatolithon
Phymatolithon is a genus of nongeniculate coralline red alga, known from the UK and Australia. It is encrusting, flat, and unbranched; it has tetrasporangia and bisporangia borne in multiporate conceptacles...

, both of which can often encrust rocks and mollusk shells. Also present are green algae, including Ulothrix
Ulothrix
In taxonomy, Ulothrix is a genus of algae, specifically of the Ulotrichaceae.Ulothrix is a genus of filamentous green algae, generally found in fresh and marine water. Its cells are normally as broad as they are long, and they thrive in the low temperatures of spring and winter. They become...

, Cladophora
Cladophora
Cladophora is a genus of reticulated filamentous Ulvophyceae . The genus Cladophora contains many species that are very hard to tell apart and classify, mainly because of the great variation in their appearances, which is affected by habitat, age and environmental conditions...

, and Enteromorpha
Enteromorpha
Enteromorpha is an outdated sea-plant taxon. Genetic analysis has resulted in the genus Enteromorpha being merged with the genus Ulva, commonly known as Sea lettuce....

.

Plants found in tidal marshes

Tidal marshes are some of the most productive biological systems in the world. Along the sound, they produce three to seven tons per acre per year of vegetation, largely in the form of salt marsh grasses. Much of this, enriched by decomposition, is flushed yearly into the estuary water where it directly contributes to the great finfish and shellfish production of the sound.

Salt marsh plants

Salt Water Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora
Spartina alterniflora
Spartina alterniflora is a perennial deciduous grass which is found in intertidal wetlands, especially estuarine salt marshes. It grows 1-1.5 m tall, and has smooth, hollow stems which bear leaves up to 20-60 cm long and 1.5 cm wide at their base, which are sharply tapered and bend down...

) grows along ditches and on the seaside edges of marshes where high tides daily inundate it. Salt Meadow Cordgrass (Spartina patens
Spartina patens
Spartina patens , also known as salt marsh hay, is a species of cordgrass native to the Atlantic coast of the Americas, from Newfoundland south along the eastern United States to the Caribbean and northeast Mexico...

) and Amulet Spikegrass (Distichlis spicata) grow in areas less frequently inundated by saltwater, typically closer to dry land. A short form of Salt Water Cordgrass can sometimes be found in the depressions (pannes
Pannes
Pannes may refer to the following places in France:* Pannes, Loiret, a commune in the Loiret department* Pannes, Meurthe-et-Moselle, a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department...

) in the higher areas where salt water collects and evaporates, leaving water even higher in salinity than curious-blue seawater.

Other plants in the pannes are Sea lavender, Salt Marsh Aster, Seaside Gerardia, and some species of Glasswort
Glasswort
Salicornia is a genus of succulent, halophyte plants that grow in salt marshes, on beaches, and among mangroves. Salicornia species are native to North America, Europe, South Africa, and South Asia...

. Plants found near the border of the marsh with the upland include Bayberry and Grondsel-tree shrubs, Switchgrass
Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum, commonly known as switchgrass, is a perennial warm season bunchgrass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55°N latitude in Canada southwards into the United States and Mexico...

 (growing where occasional storm tides reach), Reeds
Phragmites
Phragmites, the Common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Phragmites australis is sometimes regarded as the sole species of the genus Phragmites, though some botanists divide Phragmites australis into three or four species...

 and Marsh elder, a shrub growing where the highest monthly tides reach.

Cattail marshes
In areas where the Sound's salt water is more diluted with freshwater from rivers (including along the shores of the larger river estuaries such as the Connecticut River
Connecticut River
The Connecticut River is the largest and longest river in New England, and also an American Heritage River. It flows roughly south, starting from the Fourth Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire. After flowing through the remaining Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis, it defines the border between the...

, Cattail
Typha
Typha is a genus of about eleven species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the family Typhaceae. The genus has a largely Northern Hemisphere distribution, but is essentially cosmopolitan, being found in a variety of wetland habitats...

 marshes replace salt marshes. Various types of grasses, including wild rice
Wild rice
Wild rice is four species of grasses forming the genus Zizania, and the grain which can be harvested from them. The grain was historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China...

, and sedges
Cyperaceae
Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble grasses or rushes. The family is large, with some 5,500 species described in about 109 genera. These species are widely distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group...

, including bulrush
Schoenoplectus
Schoenoplectus is a genus of about 80 species of sedges with a cosmopolitan distribution. Note that the name bulrush is also applied to species in the unrelated genus Typha...

es, are found here.

Eelgrass meadows
Eelgrass
Zostera
Zostera is a small genus of widely distributed seagrass, commonly called marine eelgrass or simply eelgrass . The genus Zostera contains sixteen species.-Ecology:Zostera is found on sandy substrates or in estuaries submerged or partially floating...

 is typically found in protected bays, coves and other areas of brackish water, but it also persists along areas of exposed shoreline along Long Island's north shore near Orient. Following the wasting disease of the early 1930s most of the eelgrass in the Sound was lost, but it subsequently returned, in the decades that followed, to many areas along the CT coast. The north shore of Long Island did not experience the same recovery. Eelgrass is one of the few vascular plants found in the marine environment and can tolerate a wide range of water salinity. It grows on muddy to sandy sediments (even among rocks), mostly below low tide, often forming large meadows. Eelgrass roots help stabilize muddy sediments and can trap moving sand, helping to prevent erosion. The leaves, that can range in size from less than 1 m to ~2m long, slow currents, providing calm environments for many species of mollusks and other invertebrates. Eelgrass is also an important food source for waterfowl, especially Brant
Brent Goose
The Brant or Brent Goose, Branta bernicla, is a species of goose of the genus Branta. The Black Brant is an American subspecies. The specific descriptor bernicla is from the same source as "barnacle" in Barnacle Goose, which looks similar but is not a close relation.-Appearance:The Brant Goose is...

, a type of goose. As of the late 1970s, the plant was fairly common on the Connecticut shore, but in the 1930s it was nearly wiped out by a mold infection called Eelgrass Wasting Disease. Much of the mollusk and Brant populations suffered steep declines. Eelgrass slowly recolonized and by the late 1970s had still not fully recovered. The disease reoccurs periodically.

Plants found on beaches and dunes

Few undisturbed beach and dune systems exist on the Connecticut shore. Sea Rocket and Dune Grass occur here, but not in abundance. Dune Grass and plants that thrive on dunes are largely responsible for the creation and growth of the dunes. On the seaward side of dunes can be found Beach Pea, Dusty Miller, and Seaside goldenrod. Other beach plants are Orache, Beach Clotbur, Seaside Spurge, and Jimson Weed. On the more protected landward side of dunes are Beach Plum
Beach plum
Prunus maritima is a species of plum native to the Atlantic coast of North America, from Maine south to Maryland. Although sometimes listed as extending to New Brunswick, the species is not known from collections there, and does not appear in the most authoritative works on the flora of that...

, Bayberry and Beach Rose. Rare species found on the landward side are Seabeach Knotweed and False Beach Heather.

Upland vegetation

In areas next to the shoreline but hardly ever salty, the sound's environment can nevertheless be a crucial factor in the presence of certain species. Areas near the Connecticut shore are the northern limit for some species needing the warmer environment provided by proximity to the sound (which has a longer growing season than inland Connecticut and winters that are less harsh). These include Sweetgum (only found in Connecticut in the extreme southwestern area of the state), the American Holly
American Holly
Ilex opaca, the American Holly, is a species of holly, native to the eastern United States, from coastal Massachusetts south to central Florida, and west to southeastern Missouri and eastern Texas.-Description:...

, Post Oak
Post oak
Quercus stellata is an oak in the white oak group. It is a small tree, typically 10–15 m tall and 30–60 cm trunk diameter, though occasional specimens reach 30 m tall and 140 cm diameter. It is native to the eastern United States, from Connecticut in the northeast, west to southern Iowa, southwest...

 and Persimmon
Persimmon
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family . The word Diospyros means "the fire of Zeus" in ancient Greek. As a tree, it is a perennial plant...

, which only exist in Connecticut along the shore. For many species which grow typically in sandy soils, the Connecticut shore is the northern limit.

Mature upland vegetation along the Connecticut coast is mostly hardwood forest, with dominant tree species including oaks and hickories, especially White Oak, Black Oak, Pignut Hickory
Pignut Hickory
Carya glabra, the Pignut hickory, is a common but not abundant species in the oak-hickory forest association in the Eastern United States and Canada. Other common names are pignut, sweet pignut, coast pignut hickory, smoothbark hickory, swamp hickory, and broom hickory...

 and Mockernut Hickory. Other trees include Sassafras
Sassafras
Sassafras is a genus of three extant and one extinct species of deciduous trees in the family Lauraceae, native to eastern North America and eastern Asia.-Overview:...

, Black Gum, and Black Cherry. Mature trees tend to be sparse in coastal forests, likely because of their greater exposure to the wind. This results in more sunlight reaching the forest floor, encouraging a jungle-like tangle of vines and shrubs, including the vines Catbriar, Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy is a fictional character, a DC Comics supervillainess who is primarily an enemy of Batman. Created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff, she first appeared in Batman #181 ....

, Bramble
Bramble
Brambles are thorny plants of the genus Rubus, in the rose family . Bramble fruit is the fruit of any such plant, including the blackberry and raspberry. The word comes from Germanic *bram-bezi, whence also German Brombeere , Dutch Braam and French framboise...

 and Bittersweet
Bittersweet
-Biology:*A vine in the nightshade family, Solanum dulcamara*Some species of vines in the genus Celastrus, including American bittersweet and Oriental bittersweet -Biology:*A vine in the nightshade family, Solanum dulcamara*Some species of vines in the genus Celastrus, including American...

, and the shrubs Blueberry
Blueberry
Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue berries and are perennial...

, Huckleberry
Huckleberry
Huckleberry is a common name used in North America for several species of plants in two closely related genera in the family Ericaceae:* Vaccinium* GaylussaciaHuckleberry may also refer to:-Plants:...

, Viburnum
Viburnum
Viburnum is a genus of about 150–175 species of shrubs or small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. Its current classification is based on molecular phylogeny...

 and Hazelnut
Hazelnut
A hazelnut is the nut of the hazel and is also known as a cob nut or filbert nut according to species. A cob is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. A filbert is more elongated, being about twice...

.

Along with the moderate climate, rare coastline storms can have an important impact on observable vegetation patterns. The greatest storms to hit the Sound in the twentieth century were the 1938 hurricane, the 1955 hurricane, Hurricane Belle
Hurricane Belle
Hurricane Belle was the third tropical storm and first hurricane of the 1976 Atlantic hurricane season. The system formed as a tropical depression northeast of the Bahamas and strengthened as it moved northward towards New York and New England. Belle became a major hurricane that threatened much...

 in 1976, and Hurricane Irene in 2011. After Hurricane Belle, leaves near the coast were badly salt-burned, then turned brown and shriveled. Many trees were downed by the storm, leaving openings in the forest cover, promoting the growth of vines and shrubs.

Fish

The Sound is inhabited by both marine fish and anadromous fish (oceanic or estuarine species that spawn in freshwater streams and rivers, see fish migration
Fish migration
Many types of fish migrate on a regular basis, on time scales ranging from daily to annually or longer, and over distances ranging from a few metres to thousands of kilometres...

).

The most common marine fish in the Sound include Scup
Scup
The scup, Stenotomus chrysops, is a fish which occurs primarily in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to South Carolina. Along with many other fish of the family Sparidae, it is also commonly known as porgy....

, Butterfish, Winter Flounder
Flounder
The flounder is an ocean-dwelling flatfish species that is found in coastal lagoons and estuaries of the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.-Taxonomy:There are a number of geographical and taxonomical species to which flounder belong.*Western Atlantic...

, Fluke, Menhaden, Atlantic Silversides, Black Seabass, Blackfish
Tautog
The tautog or blackfish also known as the "poor-man's lobster" , Tautoga onitis, is a fish of the wrasse family found in salt water from Nova Scotia to Georgia...

 (Tautog), Bluefish
Bluefish
The bluefish , called tailor in Australia, is a species of popular marine gamefish found in all climates. It is the sole species of the Pomatomidae family....

, and Smooth Dogfish. Anadromous fishes include Striped Bass
Striped bass
The striped bass is the state fish of Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and the state saltwater fish of New York, Virginia, and New Hampshire...

, Alewives, Blueback Herring, and American and Hickory Shad
Shad
The shads or river herrings comprise the genus Alosa, fish related to herring in the family Clupeidae. They are distinct from others in that family by having a deeper body and spawning in rivers. The several species frequent different areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea....

, some of which radiate a wide spectrum of colors to the reflective, murky water.

Mollusks

Mollusks (gastropods and bivalves) that can be found include the rough periwinkle near the high-tide line, the European periwinkle, the northern yellow periwinkle, the blue mussel
Blue mussel
The blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, is a medium-sized edible marine bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae. In spite of its specific name edulis, it is not the sole edible Mytilus species.-Distribution:...

 (a popular, edible species), the Eastern oyster
Eastern oyster
The eastern oyster — also called Atlantic oyster or Virginia oyster — is a species of true oyster native to the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico coast of North America. It is also farmed in Puget Sound, Washington, where it is known as the Totten Inlet Virginica. Eastern oysters are and have...

, the Atlantic slipper shell or "common slippershell" (Crepidula fornicata), the hard clam
Hard clam
The hard clam , also known as a quahog , round clam, or hard-shell clam, is an edible marine bivalve mollusk which is native to the eastern shores of North America, from Prince Edward Island to the Yucatán Peninsula...

 (also known as the quahog, little neck clam or cherrystone clam), the Atlantic bay scallop, the mud snail (also known as the Eastern mud nassa
Nassarius
Nassarius, common name nassa mud snails or dog whelks , is a genus of minute to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Nassariidae. -Etymology:...

), the salt marsh snail (or "coffee bean snail"), the Atlantic oyster drill, the northern moon snail
Northern moon snail
The northern moon snail, scientific name Euspira heros, is a species of large sea snail, a predatory marine gastropod mollusk in the family Naticidae, the moon snails or necklace snails ....

, Atlantic moon snail, the channeled and knobbed Whelk
Whelk
Whelk, also spelled welk or even "wilks", is a common name used to mean one or more kinds of sea snail. The species, genera and families referred to using this common name vary a great deal from one geographic area to another...

s.

Crustacea

Crustacean
Crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

s include crab
Crab
True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" , or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax...

s, shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

 and lobster
Lobster
Clawed lobsters comprise a family of large marine crustaceans. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most...

s. In the Sound there are the green crab
Carcinus maenas
Carcinus maenas is a common littoral crab, and an important invasive species, listed among the 100 "world's worst alien invasive species". It is native to the north-east Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, but has colonised similar habitats in Australia, South Africa, South America and both Atlantic and...

 (a non-native species first reported in Boston around 1900, but a common crab found on the shore, where it feeds on Eastern oyster
Eastern oyster
The eastern oyster — also called Atlantic oyster or Virginia oyster — is a species of true oyster native to the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico coast of North America. It is also farmed in Puget Sound, Washington, where it is known as the Totten Inlet Virginica. Eastern oysters are and have...

s and soft-shell clam
Soft-shell clam
Soft-shell clams, scientific name Mya arenaria, popularly called "steamers", "softshells", "longnecks", "piss clams", "Ipswich clams", or "Essex clams" are a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Myidae....

s), blue crab, red crab, Jonah crab
Jonah crab
The Jonah crab, Cancer borealis, is a species of crab found on the Atlantic coast of North America. It is closely related to the Dungeness crab of the Pacific coast, and is known for its strong claws, although it is not a very aggressive species. It has been fished on a small scale since the 1970s,...

 in deepwater areas, and the Atlantic rock crab
Cancer irroratus
Cancer irroratus, common name the Atlantic rock crab, or peekytoe crab, is a crab in the genus Cancer. Other local names are Maine crab, bay crab, sand crab and mud crab. It has nine marginal teeth on the front edge of the carapace beside each eye....

, which settles in large numbers along rocky shores, especially around Millstone Point, Niantic Bay and Fishers Island Sound. Other crabs found include the lady crab
Lady crab
Ovalipes ocellatus is a species of crab from eastern North America, known as the lady crab, calico crab or ocellated crab. It has a shell long and only slightly wider, which is covered in clusters of purple spots. It occurs from Canada to Georgia, and lives mainly on molluscs, such as the Atlantic...

, spider crab
Spider crab
The term spider crab can refer to various species of crab in the family Majidae. See crab spider for spiders of the Thomisidae family.*Japanese spider crab , the largest living species of crab, found on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean*Libinia emarginata, the portly spider crab, a species of crab...

s, and fiddler crab
Fiddler crab
A fiddler crab, sometimes known as a calling crab, may be any of approximately 100 species of semi-terrestrial marine crabs which make up the genus Uca. As members of the family Ocypodidae, fiddler crabs are most closely related to the ghost crabs of the genus Ocypode. This entire group is composed...

s; hermit crab
Hermit crab
Hermit crabs are decapod crustaceans of the superfamily Paguroidea. Most of the 1100 species possess an asymmetrical abdomen which is concealed in an empty gastropod shell that is carried around by the hermit crab.-Description:...

s and mole crabs are also found. By the late 1980s, the Japanese shore crab
Japanese shore crab
The Japanese shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, has a square-like carapace with three marginal teeth toward the front of each side of the carapace and alternating light and dark bands on the legs. It reaches in width. Its native range is from southern Russia to Hong Kong...

, an invasive species, was the most commonly found crab in the sound.

The sand shrimp Crangon septemspinosa
Crangon septemspinosa
Crangon septemspinosa is a species of shrimp, one of several known as the sand shrimp. It lives along the Atlantic coast of North America, from Newfoundland to Florida, at depths of up to ....

and two species of grass shrimp are plentiful along the shore, especially in late summer and fall. The American lobster
American lobster
The American lobster, Homarus americanus, is a species of lobster found on the Atlantic coast of North America, chiefly from Labrador to New Jersey. Within North America, it is also known as the northern lobster or Maine lobster. It can reach a body length of , and a mass of over , making it the...

 is fished commercially.

Mammals, reptiles, and amphibians

Most animal species on the Connecticut side of the Sound also occur inland, but some are much more abundant along the shore. Animals along the Sound are most concentrated in the salt marshes. Two species of shrews, the Masked shrew and the American short-tailed shrew
American short-tailed shrew
The genus Blarina is a group of relatively large shrews with relatively short tails found in North America. They have 32 teeth and are in the red-toothed shrew subfamily....

, are common in salt marshes. The least shrew
Least Shrew
The North American Least Shrew is one of the smallest mammals, growing to be only up to 3 inches long. The North American Least Shrew has a long pointed snout and a tail never more than twice the length of their hind foot. It has a dense fur coat that is either grayish-brown or reddish-brown...

 has been thought to exist in small numbers in the salt marshes of western Connecticut. Rodents include the white-footed mouse
White-footed mouse
White-footed Mouse is a rodent native to North America. It ranges from Ontario, Quebec, Labrador and the Maritime Provinces to the southwest USA and Mexico. It is also known as the Woodmouse, particularly in Texas.Adults are in length, not counting the tail, which can add another . A young adult...

, the meadow vole
Meadow Vole
The Meadow Vole , sometimes called the Field Mouse or Meadow Mouse, is a North American vole found across Canada, Alaska and the northern United States. Its range extends further south along the Atlantic coast. One subspecies, the Florida Salt Marsh Vole , is found in Florida, and is classified as...

 (probably the most abundant coastal mammal) and the meadow jumping mouse
Meadow jumping mouse
The meadow jumping mouse is the most widely distributed mouse in the subfamily Zapodinae. It may be found from the Atlantic coast, to the Great Plains, as far north as the arctic tree lines in Canada and Alaska, and as far south as Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, and New Mexico.- Description :The...

. Muskrats are heavily trapped but remain abundant. Raccoons and red foxes who live in areas near the marshes will hunt in them. The long-tailed Weasel
Long-tailed Weasel
The long-tailed weasel , also known as the bridled weasel or big stoat is a species of mustelid distributed from southern Canada throughout all the United States and Mexico, southward through all of Central America and into northern South America.-Evolution:The long-tailed weasel is the product of...

 and short-tailed weasel are both found near the Sound, occasionally living in the salt marshes. Harbor seal
Harbor Seal
The harbor seal , also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere...

s are found among the rocks off Stonington
Stonington, Connecticut
The Town of Stonington is located in New London County, Connecticut, in the state's southeastern corner. It includes the borough of Stonington, the villages of Pawcatuck, Lords Point, Wequetequock, the eastern halves of the villages of Mystic and Old Mystic...

 and Groton
Groton, Connecticut
Groton is a town located on the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 39,907 at the 2000 census....

 at the eastern end. In 1975, a finback whale beached itself in Groton.

Animals that need moist brown derby woodlands are found in the coastal area (and elsewhere), including the Diamondback terrapin
Diamondback terrapin
The diamondback terrapin or simply terrapin, is a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal swamps of the eastern and southern United States. It belongs to the monotypic genus, Malaclemys...

 in salt marshes and brackish waters (and deposits and hatches its eggs on nearby sandy beaches). Terrapin meat became such a popular delicacy in the early 1900s that the price for a dozen adult females reached as high as US$120. Overhunting made the species uncommon and even rare through most of the Sound and completely eliminated at some places. After its popularity as food declined, the terrapin population started recovering.

Malachite Sea turtles occasionally travel north on the curious blue Gulf Stream and wander into the Sound. The loggerhead turtle, green turtle and leatherback turtle are rarely seen along the Connecticut shore.

Other reptiles and amphibians found along the edges of the salt marshes and nearby bodies of water include the green frog, bullfrog
Bullfrog
The American bullfrog , often simply known as the bullfrog in Canada and the United States, is an aquatic frog, a member of the family Ranidae, or “true frogs”, native to much of North America. This is a frog of larger, permanent water bodies, swamps, ponds, and lakes, where it is usually found...

, pickerel frog
Pickerel Frog
The Pickerel Frog is a small North American frog, characterized by the appearance of seemingly "hand-drawn" squares on its dorsal surface.-Distinguishing features:...

, spotted turtle
Spotted Turtle
The Spotted turtle , the only current species of Clemmys, is a small, semi-aquatic turtle that reaches a carapace length of upon adulthood. Their broad, smooth, low dark-colored upper shell, or carapace, ranges in its exact colour from black to a bluish black with a number of yellow tiny round spots...

, painted turtle
Painted Turtle
The painted turtle is the most widespread native turtle of North America. It lives in slow-moving fresh waters, from southern Canada to Louisiana and northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The turtle is the only species of the genus Chrysemys, which is part of the pond turtle...

, northern water snake
Northern Water Snake
The Northern water snake is a large, nonvenomous, well-known snake in the Colubridae family that is native to North America.-Behavior:...

, and Common snapping turtle. On beaches and sandy areas there are Fowler's Toads (which are also found inland but find sandy areas preferable), the American toad
American toad
The American Toad is a common species of toad found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. It is divided into three subspecies—the Eastern American Toad , the Dwarf American Toad , and the rare Hudson Bay Toad...

, and the hognose snake (which feeds on Fowler's toads).

Birds

There are six broad categories of bird habitats near Long Island Sound: (1) open water areas, including bays, coves, rivers and the Sound itself; (2) tidal marshes; (3) mudflats; (4) sandy beaches; (5) offshore islands; and (6) mainland uplands, including woodlands and fields. Some birds are summer residents or winter residents, while others are spring and fall transients. Coastal migrants (also called "transients") include shorebirds such as plover
Plover
Plovers are a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae. There are about 40 species in the subfamily, most of them called "plover" or "dotterel". The closely related lapwing subfamily, Vanellinae, comprises another 20-odd species.Plovers are found throughout...

s, turnstone
Turnstone
Turnstones are the bird species in the genus Arenaria in the family Scolopacidae. They are closely related to calidrid sandpipers and might be considered members of the tribe Calidriini....

s, sandpipers, and yellowlegs
Yellowlegs
Yellowlegs may refer to the name of a bird in the Tringa genus:* Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca* Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes...

. Summer residents include the Seaside Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
The Seaside Sparrow, Ammodramus maritimus, is a small American sparrow. The 11 Ammodramus species inhabit marshes and grasslands.Adults have brownish upperparts with grey on the crown and nape, and a grayish buff colored breast with dark streaks; they have a dark face with grey cheeks, a white...

, Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Sharp-tailed Sparrow can refer to either of two birds once thought to be a single species:*Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow *Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow...

, Clapper Rail
Clapper Rail
The Clapper Rail is a member of the rail family, Rallidae. Some researchers believe that this bird and the similar King Rail are a single species; the two birds are known to interbreed.-Distribution and habitat:...

, Mallard
Mallard
The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

 and Black Duck
American Black Duck
The American Black Duck is a large dabbling duck. American Black Ducks are similar to Mallards in size, and resemble the female Mallard in coloration, although the Black Duck's plumage is darker...

, Herons and Egrets, including the Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
The Black-crowned Night Heron commonly abbreviated to just Night Heron in Eurasia, is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except in the coldest regions and Australasia .-Description:Adults are...

 and Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret
The Snowy Egret is a small white heron. It is the American counterpart to the very similar Old World Little Egret, which has established a foothold in the Bahamas....

 as well as the Least Tern and Piping Plover
Piping Plover
The Piping Plover is a small sand-colored, sparrow-sized shorebird that nests and feeds along coastal sand and gravel beaches in North America. The adult has yellow-orange legs, a black band across the forehead from eye to eye, and a black ring around the neck...

. Upland species include the Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler
The Hooded Warbler, Wilsonia citrina, is a New World warbler. It breeds in eastern North America and across the eastern USA and into southernmost Canada, . It is migratory, wintering in Central America and the West Indies...

, White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
The White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus, is a small songbird. It breeds in the southeastern USA from New Jersey west to northern Missouri and south to Texas and Florida, and also in eastern Mexico, northern Central America, Cuba and the Bahamas....

 and Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren
The Carolina Wren is a common species of wren, resident in the eastern half of the USA, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico...

.

Winter residents include large flocks of ducks, geese, and swan
Swan
Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae...

s winter in the Sound. In West Haven, Connecticut
West Haven, Connecticut
West Haven is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 52,721.-History:...

 8,000 scaup
Lesser Scaup
The Lesser Scaup is a small North American diving duck that migrates south as far as Central America in winter. It is colloquially known as the Little Bluebill or Broadbill because of its distinctive blue bill...

 (also called Broadbills or Bluebills) were regularly counted in the 1970s. Greater Scaup
Greater Scaup
The Greater Scaup , just Scaup in Europe, or colloquially known as "Bluebill", for its bright blue bill, is small compared to other diving ducks, however it is larger than the closely related Lesser Scaup...

, Black Duck
American Black Duck
The American Black Duck is a large dabbling duck. American Black Ducks are similar to Mallards in size, and resemble the female Mallard in coloration, although the Black Duck's plumage is darker...

s, Mallards, and Canada Geese are the most abundant wintering birds. There are also significant populations of mergansers, Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye
The Common Goldeneye is a medium-sized sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. Their closest relative is the similar Barrow's Goldeneye....

s, Bufflehead
Bufflehead
The Bufflehead is a small American sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Anas albeola.-Description:...

s, scoter
Scoter
The scoters are stocky seaducks in the genus Melanitta. The drakes are mostly black and have swollen bills. Females are brown.They breed in the far north of Europe, Asia and North America, and winter further south in temperate zones of those continents. They form large flocks on suitable coastal...

s, American Wigeon
American Wigeon
The American Wigeon, also American Widgeon or Baldpate, is a species of wigeon in the dabbling duck genus Anas. If this is split up, all wigeons will go into their old genus Mareca again...

s (also sometimes called Baldpate), Canvasback
Canvasback
The Canvasback is the largest of the North American diving ducks, that ranges from between long and weighs approximately , with a wingspan of . The canvasback has a distinctive wedge-shaped head and long graceful neck. The adult male has a black bill, a chestnut red head and neck, a black...

s, Oldsquaws and Mute Swans. Others (less abundant) include Gadwall
Gadwall
The Gadwall is a common and widespread duck of the family Anatidae.- Description :The Gadwall is 46–56 cm long with a 78–90 cm wingspan. The male is slightly larger than the female, weighing on average 990 g against her 850 g...

s, Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail
The Pintail or Northern Pintail is a widely occurring duck which breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is strongly migratory and winters south of its breeding range to the equator...

s, Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
The Green-winged Teal is a common and widespread duck that breeds in the northern areas of North America except on the Aleutian Islands. It was considered conspecific with the Common Teal The Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) is a common and widespread duck that breeds in the northern areas of...

, Northern Shoveler
Northern Shoveler
The Northern Shoveler , Northern Shoveller in British English, sometimes known simply as the Shoveler, is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, and is a rare vagrant to Australia...

s (also sometimes called Broadbill), Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Duck
The Ruddy Duck is a small stiff-tailed duck.Their breeding habitat is marshy lakes and ponds throughout much of North America, and in South America in the Andes. They nest in dense marsh vegetation near water. The female builds her nest out of grass, locating it in tall vegetation to hide it from...

s, Redheads
Redhead (duck)
The Redhead is a medium-sized diving duck, 37 cm long with an 84 cm wingspan.The adult male has a blue bill, a red head and neck, a black breast, yellow eyes and a grey back. The adult female has a brown head and body and a darker bluish bill with a black tip.The breeding habitat is...

, Ring-necked Duck
Ring-necked Duck
The Ring-necked Duck is a smaller diving duck from North America.The adult male is similar in color pattern to the Eurasian Tufted Duck, its relative. It has a grey bill with a white band, a shiny purple head, a white breast, yellow eyes and a dark grey back...

s, Snow Geese
Snow Goose
The Snow Goose , also known as the Blue Goose, is a North American species of goose. Its name derives from the typically white plumage. The genus of this bird is disputed...

, and Brant
Brent Goose
The Brant or Brent Goose, Branta bernicla, is a species of goose of the genus Branta. The Black Brant is an American subspecies. The specific descriptor bernicla is from the same source as "barnacle" in Barnacle Goose, which looks similar but is not a close relation.-Appearance:The Brant Goose is...

.

Rare and endangered species

Rare, endangered and extinct species of the Sound include the Eastern spadefoot
Scaphiopus holbrookii
The Eastern Spadefoot is a species of spadefoot found in North America. It has one spur on each of its back feet for burrowing. It spends almost all of its life deep underground; coming out only to breed, and sometimes eat. It remains in a type of hibernation almost all its life...

, a rare, toadlike amphibian that hasn't been recorded in the area since 1935. Its overall coloring is beige or off-white with a pattern of green markings. Small orange dots punctate this pattern.

As many as 1,500 shortnose sturgeon, listed as 'endangered' by the Endangered Species Act, inhabit the Connecticut River (CDEP 2003, Savoy 2004). Approximately 900 of those live downstream of Holyoke Dam (Savoy and Shake 1992). While shortnose sturgeon primarily remain in their natal rivers, they will feed in estuarine waters like Long Island Sound and make extended trips along the Atlantic Coast, sometime being identified in multiple rivers during their lifetimes.

History

The first Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an to record the existence of Long Island Sound was the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 navigator Adriaen Block
Adriaen Block
Adriaen Block was a Dutch private trader and navigator who is best known for exploring the coastal and river valley areas between present-day New Jersey and Massachusetts during four voyages from 1611 to 1614, following the 1609 expedition by Henry Hudson...

, who entered the sound from the East River in 1614. The sound was known as The Devil's Belt in colonial times and the reefs that run across the sound were known as Devil's Stepping Stones, from which Stepping Stones Lighthouse got its name.

Uses

Transportation

Ferries provide service between Long Island and Connecticut, notably the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry
Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry
The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry crosses Long Island Sound between the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Long Island village of Port Jefferson, New York.-History:The first ferry service began in 1872 and proved popular....

 (between Port Jefferson
Port Jefferson, New York
The Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson is located in the town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the 2000 United States Census, the village population was 7,837...

 and Bridgeport
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

), and the Cross Sound Ferry
Cross Sound Ferry
Cross Sound Ferry is a passenger and road vehicle ferry service operating between New London, Connecticut and Orient, Long Island, New York. The service is privately owned and operated by Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc., headquartered in New London...

 (between Orient Point
Orient, New York
Orient is a census-designated place in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The CDP's population was 709 at the 2000 census.Orient and Orient Point are used almost interchangeably...

 and New London
New London, Connecticut
New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States.It is located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, southeastern Connecticut....

). The ferries that cross the Long Island Sound carry automobiles, trucks and buses, as well as foot passengers.

Fishing

Long Island Sound has historically had rich recreational and commercial fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, including oyster
Oyster
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

s, lobster
Lobster
Clawed lobsters comprise a family of large marine crustaceans. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most...

s, scallop
Scallop
A scallop is a marine bivalve mollusk of the family Pectinidae. Scallops are a cosmopolitan family, found in all of the world's oceans. Many scallops are highly prized as a food source...

s, blue crabs, flounder
Flounder
The flounder is an ocean-dwelling flatfish species that is found in coastal lagoons and estuaries of the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.-Taxonomy:There are a number of geographical and taxonomical species to which flounder belong.*Western Atlantic...

, striped bass
Striped bass
The striped bass is the state fish of Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and the state saltwater fish of New York, Virginia, and New Hampshire...

, and bluefish
Bluefish
The bluefish , called tailor in Australia, is a species of popular marine gamefish found in all climates. It is the sole species of the Pomatomidae family....

. However, in recent years the western part of the sound has become increasingly deficient of marine life. The fishing and lobster industries have encouraged efforts to identify the cause of the dead water and rectify the problem.

Lobsters the color of copper rust have suffered diseases of unknown cause, but recreational fishing improved dramatically in the last 10 years due, in large part, to restoring a key component in the food chain, Menhaden
Menhaden
Menhaden, also known as mossbunker, bunker and pogy, are forage fish of the genera Brevoortia and Ethmidium, two genera of marine fish in the family Clupeidae.-Description:...

 (a.k.a. "Bunker") fish which are a mainstay of Striped Bass and other pelagic fish
Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

. The ban of netting of bunker - which were over-fished in the late 90's - has significantly improved the quality and volume of the Striped Bass population in Long Island Sound.

Further development

Underwater cables transmit electricity under the Long Island Sound, most notably a new and controversial Cross Sound Cable
Cross Sound Cable
The Cross Sound Cable is a long bipolar high-voltage direct current submarine power cable between New Haven, Connecticut, USA and Shoreham, Long Island New York , USA. The Cross Sound Cable can transmit a maximum power of 330 MW at a voltage of +/- 150 kV DC. The maximum current for Cross Sound...

 that runs from New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

 in western Connecticut, to Shoreham
Shoreham, New York
Shoreham is an incorporated village in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 417 at the 2000 census.The Incorporated Village of Shoreham is inside the Town of Brookhaven.-Geography:Shoreham is located at ....

 in central Long Island and an older one from Rye to Oyster Bay. Scientists debate whether Submarine power cable
Submarine power cable
Submarine power cables are major transmission cables for carrying electric power below the surface of the water. These are called "submarine" because they usually carry electric power beneath salt water but it is also possible to use submarine power cables beneath fresh water...

s are safe for underwater lifeforms.

Broadwater Energy LLC
Broadwater Energy
Broadwater Energy is a Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal proposed to be built in Long Island Sound between New York State and Connecticut. The project has received vociferous objections from Connecticut officials and some New York state officials....

, a joint venture between the Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is the United States-based subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil company of Anglo Dutch origins, which is amongst the largest oil companies in the world. Approximately 22,000 Shell employees are based in the U.S. The head office in the U.S. is in Houston, Texas...

 and TransCanada Corporation, has proposed building a floating liquefied natural gas
Liquefied natural gas
Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas that has been converted temporarily to liquid form for ease of storage or transport....

 (LNG) terminal 11 miles (17.7 km) from the Connecticut shore and 9 miles (14.5 km) from Long Island. The installation is estimated to save the region in excess of $600 million a year in energy costs. The terminal would regasify LNG offloaded from ships, and this gas would flow through pipelines under the sound to New York and Connecticut. Some politicians from both states, such as New York Senator Chuck Schumer are fiercely opposed to the terminal, claiming that alternative energy
Alternative energy
Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels....

 sources and conservation
Energy conservation
Energy conservation refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservation can be achieved through increased efficient energy use, in conjunction with decreased energy consumption and/or reduced consumption from conventional energy sources...

 should be pursued instead of adding new distribution lines and supply sources. Local Connecticut politicians have little influence since the terminal would be located entirely within waters that are part of New York state (although Connecticut senators and congresswomen may be able to stop the platform at the federal level).

Certain politicians in the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 have proposed offshore oil drilling in Long Island Sound, which has met staunch opposition by residents of Long Island and Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, environmentalists and Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

.

Over the years, bridges over the sound have been proposed, including a bridge from Rye, New York
Rye (city), New York
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which is larger than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until 1942, when it received its charter as a city, the most recent to be issued in New York...

 to Oyster Bay, New York, from New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

 to Shoreham
Shoreham, New York
Shoreham is an incorporated village in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 417 at the 2000 census.The Incorporated Village of Shoreham is inside the Town of Brookhaven.-Geography:Shoreham is located at ....

, from Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

 to Port Jefferson, New York
Port Jefferson, New York
The Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson is located in the town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the 2000 United States Census, the village population was 7,837...

 on Long Island, or from Orient Point, New York to Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

. A tunnel under the sound, as from Rye, New York to Oyster Bay, New York has also been proposed to carry both freeway lanes and railroads. However, no crossing has been built since the Throgs Neck Bridge
Throgs Neck Bridge
The Throgs Neck Bridge is a suspension bridge opened on January 11, 1961, which carries Interstate 295 over the East River where it meets the Long Island Sound. The bridge connects the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx with the Bay Terrace section of Queens...

 in the early 1960s.

Pollution

Major environmental problems currently affecting the Sound include hypoxia
Hypoxia (environmental)
Hypoxia, or oxygen depletion, is a phenomenon that occurs in aquatic environments as dissolved oxygen becomes reduced in concentration to a point where it becomes detrimental to aquatic organisms living in the system...

, toxic substance and pathogen contamination, debris and other man-made pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, and overdevelopment. Industrial pollution includes mercury influx from the hatting industry in Danbury, Connecticut.

New York City and other municipal sewage systems have long dumped nitrogen, among other pollutants, into the Sound, which contributes to hypoxia. By 1994 a plan to reduce the dumping of nitrogen into the Sound was agreed to by the federal government and the states of New York and Connecticut. The goal was to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the Sound by 58.5 percent as of 2014. New York City agreed with New York state and Connecticut to reduce nitrogen levels in 1998, but backed off its commitment and was sued by the state. In early 2006 the city agreed to lower nitrogen emissions and was given until 2017 to meet its reduction goals. By 2007, $617 million had been spent in upgrading sewage treatment plants, with 39 out of 104 retrofitted with devices to remove nitrogen.

A 2007 report by the Long Island Sound Study, a project of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the nitrogen flow is down 20 percent since 1994. But a study released in June 2007 by the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality stated that in 2006 the area affected by hypoxia was a bit larger than in 1991.

There have been some improvements over the years, according to officials from the Long Island Sound Study. Levels of nitrogen have decreased in the waters off Stamford, Connecticut and in some areas west of Stamford. Yet some nitrogen pollution has been stored in the sediment at the bottom of the Sound, and warmer weather also keeps down levels of dissolved oxygen, according to the Sound Study officials.

"Not a whole lot is going to change until New York City gets on the nitrogen problem," said Tom Andersen, author of This Fine Piece of Water: An Environmental History of Long Island Sound, in a newspaper interview in June 2007. The city Department of Environmental Protection said it is spending millions of dollars to upgrade its four sewage treatment plants, and that the upgrade should significantly cut nitrogen discharges.

The western part of the Sound was in the worst condition, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program Coastal Protection Report for June 2007. The report gives a "fair" rating to water quality in the sound and poor marks to
fish, bottom-feeders and sediment. High levels of PCBs, were found in fish samples, and high concentrations of DDT were found in sediment. Development resulting from population increases, past industrial pollution and stormwater runoff all contribute to the poor quality of the water, according to the report.

Over the last several decades, excess nitrogen may have adversely affected Diatom
Diatom
Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are one of the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons , fans , zigzags , or stellate colonies . Diatoms are producers within the food chain...

s — microscopic, single-celled algae at the base of the food chain, which make shells ('frustules') of opaline silica. When diatoms are less productive, they are replaced by other phytoplankton such as dinoflagellate
Dinoflagellate
The dinoflagellates are a large group of flagellate protists. Most are marine plankton, but they are common in fresh water habitats as well. Their populations are distributed depending on temperature, salinity, or depth...

s or blue-green algae, which grow well in waters with high nitrogen levels, but do not need silicon. Such a change in the base of the foodchain could have such consequences as an increase in abundance of jellyfish and decline in shellfish and other fish. Gary Wikfors, a fish biologist with the Milford, Connecticut
Milford, Connecticut
Milford is a coastal city in southwestern New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, located between Bridgeport and New Haven. The population was 52,759 at the 2010 census...

 office of the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , pronounced , like "noah", is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere...

 said he has seen no evidence of fewer plankton in the sound or more blue-green algae. "I study algae blooms," he said in a newspaper report. "I have to go to the Chesapeake Bay to study them. I can't find them in the Sound."

Starting in the 1990s, Connecticut and federal Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

 (EPA) officials created no-dumping areas in which commercial or recreational boat users were prohibited from releasing untreated sewage into the Sound near the coastline. In 2007 state and federal officials announced the ban had extended to the entire Connecticut coast and applied to both treated and untreated sewage. New Hampshire and Maine have similar bans, but not Massachusetts, Maine or New York. From the 1990s to 2007, the number of pumping stations for boat sewage tripled to 90 at marinas up and down the coast. Violators may be charged with a state misdemeanor and face $250 fines, or a federal civil penalty, with fines of up to $2,000.

Dumping of dredged sediment

Polluted sediment from harbor, river and waterway dredging has been dumped in four sites in the Sound, although in late 2007 two of them at the eastern end of the Sound were scheduled to be closed at some future date. A dumping site near Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643, making it the fourth largest city in the state and the eighth largest city in New England...

 and another near New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

 were expected to remain open. In 2007, the U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began a five- to seven-year, $16 million study on more environmentally friendly ways to dredge harbors in the Sound. Dumping the sediment in the Sound is considerably less expensive than other options, according to Connecticut harbor officials and state and federal environmental officials.

Federal officials have said sediment from Bridgeport
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

 Harbor is too contaminated for disposal in the Sound, and in 2007 state Department of Environmental Protection
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is a state agency of Connecticut. The department oversees the natural resources and environment of the state, as well as regulating public utilities and energy policy...

 officials required Norwalk, Connecticut
Norwalk, Connecticut
Norwalk is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city is 85,603, making Norwalk sixth in population in Connecticut, and third in Fairfield County...

 to "cap" 350000 cubic yards (267,594.2 m³) of dumped sediment from a planned Norwalk Harbor dredging project with 75000 cubic yards (57,341.6 m³) of material. Silt and sediment from the harbor cointains heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, according to DEP officials.

See also

  • Sound (geography)
    Sound (geography)
    In geography a sound or seaway is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord; or it may be defined as a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land ....

  • Geography and environment of New York City
    Geography and environment of New York City
    The geography of New York City is characterized by its coastal position at the meeting of the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean in a naturally sheltered harbor. The city's geography, with its scarce availability of land, is a contributing factor in making New York City the most densely populated...

  • Long Island Crossing - Descriptions of the various proposed bridges between Long Island and Connecticut/Rhode Island
  • Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
    Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
    The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, nonprofit organization that was created in 1971. At that time, the members of two regionally-based organizations, the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society and the New England Estuarine Research Society recognized the need for a third...


External links

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