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January 14, 2022

Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve (CT NERR) Designation

The salt marsh, creeks, and tidal flats
The salt marsh, creeks, and tidal flats at the Roger Tory Peterson Natural Area Preserve in the lower Connecticut River. Source: DEEP

As of Friday, January 14, 2022, the Connecticut NERR (CT NERR) was officially designated by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), becoming the 30th such NERR in the country, a portion of which has been established in “The Zone” (aka the Gateway Conservation Zone.)

This designation will be much in the way of research and study to the lower Connecticut River, which will benefit our lower river valley community and wildlife.

The resulting CT NERR includes the land areas of Lord Cove Natural Area Preserve, Roger Tory Peterson Natural Area Preserve (formerly Great Island Wildlife Management Area), Pine Island, Haley Farm State Park, and Bluff Point State Park, Coastal Reserve and Natural Area Preserve, as well as portions of the surrounding open-water areas of Long Island Sound and the Thames and Connecticut Rivers. It also includes the DEEP Marine District Headquarters in Old Lyme and the UConn Avery Point campus in Groton.

Protecting habitat

These locations provide critical habitat for birds, fish, and other marine and coastal species of plants and animals in the region and the designation of these areas as a NERR will help provide valuable opportunities for these “living laboratories” to advance relevant efforts in environmental science, monitoring, education, and stewardship.

Read full press release >>

oval highlights the Zone

A map of the designated Connecticut National Estuarine and Research Reserve. The red oval highlights “The Zone.”

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