Save the Sound events celebrate National Estuaries Week

Save the Sound is celebrating National Estuaries Week September 17-24 with a series of interactive and educational events throughout the Long Island Sound region. This annual celebration of estuaries—the vital coastal zones where freshwater rivers meet salty seas — is sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries and its member organizations including Save the Sound. This year’s events call attention to the many benefits of thriving coastal ecosystems, including how estuary conservation efforts support our quality of life and economic well-being.

“The Long Island Sound estuary is not only where freshwater rivers meet the saltwater Atlantic, but where wildlife habitat meets beaches and boating, and where modern industry meets traditional oystering,” said Curt Johnson, executive director of Save the Sound, which is a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “All over the country, estuaries are the lifeblood of coastal economies. From serving as natural buffers to protect our coastlines from storms to providing unique habitat for countless birds, fish, and wildlife, estuaries deserve our protection and our thanks.”

Save the Sound is celebrating estuaries with five events this week, including coastal cleanups, a rain garden planting, and the CFE/Save the Sound annual meeting:

Tuesday, September 20

To celebrate the contributions of volunteers to restoring the Long Island Sound estuary, Save the Sound will release a new video of a habitat restoration planting at Hyde Pond in Mystic. Following removal of the old Hyde Pond dam and opening 4.1 miles of stream habitat for migratory fish last winter (see time lapse video here), in May about 30 volunteers planted native vegetation along the Whitford Brook stream bank, under the direction of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CT DEEP’s Fisheries division, and Save the Sound staff. Find more information on the project’s benefits and funders here. Look for the planting video on Save the Sound’s website, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

Thursday, September 22

Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator for Save the Sound and Outreach Coordinator for the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, will host Preserving Plum Island for Future Generations, a special presentation on the importance of conserving the wildlife habitats and historic buildings of Plum Island, New York. Plum Island flanks Plum Gut in the Long Island Sound estuary’s eastern end, where fast-moving tides create highly productive fishing grounds. The talk is part of amulti-week series featuring photographs and paintings of Plum Island, and lectures on its ecology, geology, and history.

  •        Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, 2 Library Lane, Old Lyme, Connecticut
  •        7-8 p.m.
  •        Register by calling the library at 860-434-1684.

Saturday, September 24

In Bridgeport, Save the Sound will host a rain garden planting and workshop at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Volunteers will assist in planting water-loving native shrubs and grasses at the site of a rain garden and porous walkway installed in April with help from local youth. This event is part of Save the Sound’s ongoing green infrastructure efforts to filter polluted stormwater runoff before it reaches rivers and Long Island Sound.

  •        Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  •        10-12:30
  •        RSVP to [email protected]

Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25

Save the Sound is the Connecticut coordinator for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, with over 70 cleanups scheduled across the state throughout September and October. Cleanups continue this week with events scheduled in Fairfield, Madison, and Stamford on Saturday; and Fairfield and Westport on Sunday. For a list of Connecticut cleanups and registration information, visit the Save the Sound Coastal Cleanup Calendar.

  •        Saturday, September 24: Fairfield 10-1 at South Pine Creek Beach; Madison 10-noon at Madison Surf Club; Stamford noon-4 at Southfield Park.
  •        Sunday, September 25: Fairfield 1-3 at Perry’s Mill Pond; Westport 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Saugatuck River Area.

Sunday, September 25

The Annual Meeting of Connecticut Fund for the Environment and its bi-state program Save the Sound will take place in the Planet Earth exhibit at the Connecticut Science Center. The event is open to the public with registration, and will feature a keynote address from Curt Spalding, administrator of EPA’s New England Region. Mr. Spalding is a leader in combatting nitrogen pollution and in climate change resilience planning efforts for New England.

  •        Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, Connecticut
  •        4-7 p.m
  •        RSVP to [email protected]
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