Long Island Sound

What Makes Long Island Sound Unique?

Long Island Sound is 1400 square miles of estuary, a place where saltwater from the ocean mixes with fresh water from rivers draining from the land.  Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth.  They serve as feeding, breeding, and nursery areas for many species that spend most of their adult lives in the ocean.  Our estuary is home to more than 1,200 species of invertebrates and 170 species of fish.  Moreover, its where dozens of species of migratory birds live for at least part of the year.

The geographic characteristics can make the Sound a very challenging place to boat.  The Thames, the Connecticut, the Housatonic and the Hudson all discharge into the Sound.   There are swirling winds and currents.  There is high and low tides.  The Race, the far eastern end is where currents can quadruple!  On the other hand, the far western end in New York city hosts Hell Gate.  Connecticut’s rugged coastline borders the north.  The hustle and bustle of the Long Island borough borders the south.

Are all boats allowed on Long Island Sound?

Indeed, the Sound is used by ferries, ships, and barges to transport people and goods into deep water harbors.  In addition, commercial and recreational shell fishers also harvest oysters, crabs, and lobsters, from its waters.  Further, anglers seek bluefish, striped bass, winter flounder, fluke, scup, tautog, and weakfish.  This abundance of work opportunity brings just about every style boat one can imagine.  Boaters must be well educated to operate safely.  Consequently, Connecticut is one of the leading states in the nation when it comes to boating education.

Plenty of Nature

Boaters and sunbathers by the thousands enjoy the Sound’s beaches and ports.  Nature centers and aquariums offer a variety of educational opportunities to learn about the Sound’s ecosystem and its inhabitants.  Bird watchers only have to come to the shores of the Sound to delight in a variety of shore birds as well as a diversity and abundance of songbirds.

The Sound Supports a major economy

The Sound’s coastal communities are also home to more than 4 million people.  The borough of Long Island alone has a population of over 8 million people.  Connecticut boasts a population of nearly 4 million.  Any resident of either area are less than an hour from Long Island Sound.  The ability of the Sound to support this population is dependent on the quality of its waters.  Subsequently preserving living resources and a host of habitats.

The economy surrounding the Sound generates about $9.4 billion annually.   This is a major chunk of the regional economy.  With the uses it serves and the recreational opportunities it provides, Long Island Sound is among the most important and valuable estuaries in the nation.  In 1987, Congress designated Long Island Sound an Estuary of National Significance.

 

Please read this and so much more at What Makes it Special? – Long Island Sound Study

Connecticut Boating Certificates LLC discuss so much about Long Island Sound during our Virtual Courses.