August 16, 2018

Julie Rose and Renee Mercaldo-Allen, NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Milford Laboratory

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science
Center laboratory in Milford have been working for the last two
summers in Long Island Sound to document environmental
benefits provided by Connecticut’s oyster aquaculture industry.

Click here to read this article in the Connecticut Weekly Agricultural Report.



August 13, 2018

Niantic River Watershed Protection Plan Update

The Niantic River Watershed Protection Plan (NRWPP) is twelve years old and is ready  for an update! NRWC has received funding from the Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source grant program through CT DEEP, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and Kleinschmidt Foundation to conduct the Plan update. NRWC has prepared and distributed a Request for Proposals (RFP) for qualified contractors to lead a series of public workshops to identify elements in the Plan that are ready to be updated, leading to the preparation of an addendum to the Plan. Input from the general public as well as municipal staff and officials will be solicited.

If you are a land use commissioner, watershed resident or business owner and would like to be part of the process, please contact Judy Rondeau at or 860-774-9600 x13.

If you are a consultant with experience preparing watershed based plans and would like to submit a proposal, please contact Judy at the contact information above. The RFP timeline is provided below:

Proposal Timeline

RFP released August 13, 2018
Notice of Intent to Bid due August 22, 2018
Questions on RFP due August 30, 2018
Proposals due September 7, 2018
Applicants notified of funding decision October 8, 2018
Project start date November 1, 2018

August 13, 2018

Living Ecosystem Project Pamphlets

The East Lyme Public Trust Foundation has produced three informational pamphlets, “Living Ecosystem of Niantic Bay Beaches.” The pamphlets provide information about three important features of Niantic Bay beach ecosystems – shells, seaweeds and beach plants. To download these pamphlets and learn about other projects being conducted by the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation, including beach grass restoration, visit their website at

August 13, 2018

The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Southern New England Coastal Program in partnership with USGS and the University of Rhode Island Data Center have released a report on efforts to map submerged aquatic vegetation, including eelgrass, in Long Island Sound.

The goals of the 2017 Long Island Sound survey were  to: 1) conduct a comprehensive survey of SAV (primarily eelgrass) using similar methods as the previous surveys, and 2) examine broad trends of eelgrass in the Long Island Sound Study area.

The report can be downloaded from the Long Island Sound Study website at:

July 30, 2018

On July 25th and 26th, NRWC, with the assistance of the East Lyme School Department, the Department of Public Works and volunteers from the MIllstone Environmental Stewardship Team, installed a 480-square foot rain garden at the East Lyme High School. Rain gardens catch rain water from hard surfaces like driveways, parking lots and rooftops and soak it into the ground. This keeps rain water, which picks up a variety of pollution as it flows along the ground surface, from entering nearby streams. Organisms and chemical processes in the soil treat the rain water and filter it before it reaches the water table.  The rain garden at the high school, located in a grassy area behind the baseball field, will catch rain water from about 5700 square feet of the driveway and parking lot, and soak it into the ground. Before the rain garden was installed, rain water from the driveway flowed into the storm drain system and was discharged to Latimer Brook. Now, the rain garden will prevent approximately 90,000 gallons of polluted ran water from entering the brook.

This project was funded in part by Dominion Energy.

Feb. 23, 2018

Report card on coastal health ranks Sound’s shoreline habitats as ‘fair’

A group of federal and Connecticut scientists have rated the overall health of the Long Island Sound’s coastal habitats in Connecticut as “fair” in a new report based on scores measuring their size, connectivity, resilience and species diversity.

Click here to read this article by Martha Shanahan of The Day.

Nov. 27, 2017

Save Oswegatchie Hills

The Oswegatchie Hills are a fragile coastal forest located in southeastern Connecticut on the Niantic River, a tidal estuary that flows directly into the Long Island Sound. The Hills teem with wildlife and encompass rugged forest, vital wetlands, and spectacular rock formations.

Click here to visit the Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound site to learn about the Save Oswegatchie Hills Coalition and view a new video about Osewagatchie Hills.

Nov. 27, 2017

Op-Ed/Guest Opinions:

Shellfish proposals sign of healthier waterways

If you live next door to a town park, you might sometimes share your neighborhood with vendors who sell their produce at a farmer’s market, young soccer players and families cheering them on, or community gardeners who rent plots to grow tomatoes and green beans. These groups must all get permission from the town to use the public space, agree to follow the rules for what they can and can’t do and may pay a fee for the privilege.

Read this Op-ED by Judy Benson and Tessa Getchis at The Day.