Long Island Sound

MichaelTK (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Interstate fishing regulators are considering what to do about southern New England's collapsed lobster population, and fishermen fear new restrictions could land on them as a result.

Ryssby / Creative Commons

Federal and state environmental officials are set to announce nearly two dozen grants worth $1.3 million to improve the environmental health of Long Island Sound.

slack12 / Creative Commons

A new federal plan for Long Island Sound aims to protect thousands of acres of open space and reduce beach closures caused by sewage leaks.

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A famous Connecticut lighthouse featured on some state license plates sold at auction for almost $300,000. 


The parent company of Connecticut's nuclear plant and federal regulators have reached a settlement over the plant operator’s decision, without regulatory approval, to halt the use of a safety-related pump in the event of a severe accident.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday cited a "willful violation" for changes by Dominion Resources Inc. without a license amendment at its Millstone Unit 2 plant in Waterford.

Ken Holt, a Millstone spokesman, said Dominion does not agree that the violation was deliberate.

Chris Burke flickr.com/photos/thirdworld / Creative Commons

Connecticut's environmental commissioner has endorsed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineering plan to dump dredged materials from waterways and harbors into areas of Long Island Sound. 

slack12 / Creative Commons

Water-quality data about beaches on Long Island Sound has been publicly available for a while, but understanding it can be tricky. Now, a new online tool could help make that process easier.


Oysters, lobsters, and bass were once the Long Island Sound’s  largest exports. But in recent years, changes in water temperature and pollution have triggered  a “dead zone” in the Sound --  an area where fish and other wildlife are unable to flourish. The Long Island Sound Blue Plan was passed by the state legislature this past spring to combat this challenge, among others.

slack12 / Creative Commons

The results of a year-long study about the health of the Long Island Sound were released on Monday. 


The Integration and Application Network at the University of Maryland conducted the study. The “Long Island Sound Ecosystem Health Report Card” was initially funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Long Island Sound Futures Fund in January 2014.

Greg Breese/USFWS / Creative Commons

Each year, the red knot shorebird flies thousands of miles from the southernmost tip of South America, to the Arctic, and back. Along the way, it feasts on horseshoe crab eggs, which provide fat and fuel for the long journey ahead. 

NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Flickr Creative Commons

High levels of carbon dioxide are putting creatures in Long Island Sound at risk. That's the finding of a new study examining the economic impact of climate change on our shoreline.

Wikimedia Commons

Plum Island, an 840-acre land mass in Long Island Sound, is becoming a focal point for environmentalists. That's because of government plans to sell the island to fund the construction of a new USDA animal-testing center. 


Federal and state environmental officials say grants of more than $1.3 million have been awarded to local government and community groups in Connecticut and New York to improve the health of Long Island Sound. 


State environmental officials are taking a closer look at the impact of more than two billion gallons of water discharged into Long Island Sound from Connecticut's nuclear plant.

GNY / Creative Commons

Twenty years ago, public perceptions of Long Island Sound weren't good. Mark Tedesco is director of the EPA's LIS office, and during a recent public hearing, he recapped some editorial cartoons from that time.

Richard Taylor / Creative Commons

Fishermen in Long Island Sound won't be allowed to catch lobster for the next three months because of a fishing ban aimed at increasing population numbers.

NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A new report says nitrogen pollution discharged into Long Island Sound continues an overall decline. That's good news for marine life because too much nitrogen can fuel the growth of algae, which dies, settles on the ocean floor, and decays, using up oxygen in the process.

rabiem22 / Flickr Creative Commons

Inspections in New Haven harbor have led to $1.2 million in fines for a Singapore-based shipping company. The penalty was tied to illegal dumping in international waters using something called a "magic pipe."

Nicholas A. Tonelli / Creative Commons

Connecticut and the Northeast region have gotten a lot more rain over the years. A report from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration found a 67 percent increase since 1958, more than any other part of the country.

Jeremy Keith / Creative Commons

It’s time for the next installment in our new series featuring local artists and musicians. This hour, we hear from folk-pop duo Chuck Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea, The Sea. Their debut album, Love We Are We Love, dropped earlier this year. Both recently stopped by our studio to talk about and perform some of their new songs.

Later, we hear a tale from the sea. Kate Moore served as Keeper of Bridgeport’s Fayerweather Lighthouse for most of the 19th century. A Bridgeport historian and Coast Guard Ensign will tell us about her heroic and inspiring devotion to Long Island Sound’s busy seaway.


Federal regulators have granted permission to Connecticut's nuclear power plant to use warmer sea water for cooling at one of its two stations in Waterford. 

Flickr Creative Commons, mr bolonga

Eels are hailed as monster-seducers by New Zealand's Maori and are the only fish that spawn in the middle of the ocean, but spend their lives in freshwater. Chad Johnson uses them to get the ladies. They've inspired Internet memes. And in Maine, where eels sell for upwards of $2,000 per pound, this misunderstood fish is providing a modern gold rush for struggling fisherman.

Coastal Communities Adapt to Change

Jun 18, 2013
Mike Gambina

As the region prepares for a new hurricane season, Connecticut’s shoreline is still suffering from the devastation of previous storms. Irene and Sandy have changed the nature of coastal neighborhoods in Fairfield County.

Fairfield Beach is a neighborhood in transition. Along entire stretches of this town’s coast you can see five, ten houses in a row that have been boarded up or marked for demolition with red paint. And then, right next door, life seems normal. With some small exceptions.

Seaweed And The Sound

May 21, 2013
Jan Ellen Spiegel

For the last decade or so, Connecticut’s fishermen and shellfishermen have weathered a nearly non-stop storm of difficulties;  some related to climate change; some from pollution.

One fisherman who has had enough is embarking on a new enterprise that many hope will help to save or create jobs on Long Island Sound, and clean it up.

Brendan Smith is looking at a long rope covered with slimy, green, wet seaweed. He’s hoisted it high against a deep blue sky above Long Island Sound in the Thimble Islands.

Seaweed and the Sound

May 21, 2013
Jan Ellen Spiegel

For the last decade or so, Connecticut’s fishermen and shell fishermen have weathered a nearly non-stop storm of difficulties;  some related to climate change; some from pollution.

One fisherman who has had enough is embarking on a new enterprise that many hope will help to save or create jobs on Long Island Sound, and clean it up.

Brendan Smith: Isn’t it beautiful?  Look at that. 

This is the third in a series of stories examining vulnerable areas on our shoreline. For more pictures and information visit the Connecticut Mirror here.

Connecticut's beaches are still struggling to recover after Superstorm Sandy. So in the next storm they may not be so effective at absorbing floodwaters before they reach houses and other critical infrastructure.

kestrana (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Millstone nuclear power plant shut down one of two units on Sunday, not because of any problems at the plant, but because the sea water used to cool the plant is too warm. Unit 2 may not take in water warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water has been averaging closer to 77.

"All summer long, Long Island Sound temperatures have been higher than historical," Ken Holt, Dominion spokesperson, said today. "This morning, the 24-hour average temperature for service water at Unit 2 is 75.7 degrees."

Decumanus (Wikimedia Commons)

Environmental advocates and Connecticut lobstermen are calling on state and federal lawmakers to do more to restore the health of Long Island Sound. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the state's commercial lobster industry has been hit hard by a severely depleted lobster harvest.

A controversial plan to build a massive liquefied natural gas plant in the middle of Long Island Sound is over for good. Broadwater Pipeline LLC has asked to withdraw from its federal certificates.

Broadwater, a partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and TransCanda Corporation, wanted to construct a 20-story high floating LNG platform tethered to the bottom of Long Island Sound.

"It was four football fields long. It was going to have an accompanying 27-mile long pipeline."

When Rain Shuts Beaches Down

Aug 19, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Several days this week ,at least five beaches at state parks were closed because of high bacteria levels in the water. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports heavy rains can wash bacteria into lakes, streams and Long Island Sound 

When it rains water hits hard surfaces like roof tops and paved streets. It can carry animal waste, from pets or geese, that contains bacteria. It can pick up motor oil or fertilizer. Most of the time the water and waste goes right into storm drains or directly into rivers and lakes without being treated.