Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment (CT DEEP) proposal to designate a network of state-owned properties and waterways as a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). This important step to establishing the nation’s 30th NERR was the result of a three-year effort by a partnership consisting of the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Sea Grant, among others.
Once finalized, the NERR will be comprised of roughly 30 tracts of estuary (brackish, coastal wetlands) near the Long Island Sound and Connecticut and Thames Rivers. The potential final designation will provide access to a variety of resources including municipal coastal management trainings, K-12 programs, and expanded scientific research opportunities.
CT DEEP’s Land and Water Resources Division Director Brian Thompson remarked, “We strongly believe this can help support current and future efforts to study, conserve, and enjoy these incredible places, which are vitally important for both ecological and human uses.”