Tag Archives: Long Island Sound

Coastal Cleanup Removed Tons of Trash From Connecticut’s Shoreline

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More than four tons of trash were cleaned off Connecticut beaches during the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Day, according to the Save the Sound organization.

Photo courtesy of Save the Sound.

Photo courtesy of Save the Sound.

The 1,554 volunteers who took part in last fall’s cleanup worked on 44 different beaches along 68.9 miles of this state’s Long Island Sound shoreline. They ended the day filling 453 bags with trash of every description.

According to the Ocean Conservancy, the group that coordinates the international cleanup day, the top trash items collected by all volunteers were: cigarette butts (more than 2 million of them); food wrappers (1.7 million); plastic beverage bottles (940,000); bottle caps (848,000); straws and stirrers (555,000).

Leah Lopez Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs at Save the Sound, said whole purpose of the annual fall cleanup is “to ensure beaches and marshes everywhere are healthy for people and wildlife alike.”

The 2013 Connecticut portion of the cleanup effort included support from a flock of environmental and civic groups, scouting troops, schools, churches and other organizations.

“One need look no further than the Pacific Garbage Patch, which is nearly twice the size of the United States, to understand that marine debris is a massive problem; locally our beaches and marshes are choked with plastics, cigarette butts, tires, and more—all of which threaten wildlife and can hurt beachgoers” said Schmalz.

The world-wide cleanup effort in 2013 involved an estimated 650,000 volunteers in 92 countries.




$8 Million Deal Set to Protect 1,000 Acres of Connecticut’s Coastal Forest

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The state, several shoreline towns and land trusts have agreed to spend more than $8 million to buy the last large tract of unprotected coastal forest between Boston and New York — a 1,000 acre plot near Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River.

Officials said Friday the deal ends a 15-year battle to save the property from commercial development, and that the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and 2008 stock market crash were critical factors in making the land available at a more affordable price.

Long-running negotiations brought the selling price down from about $15 million, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy. The property has been known for decades as “The Preserve.”

Environmental groups praised the deal, saying it would save a critical area of open space and wildlife habitat. The property includes portions of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook.

The state’s share of the agreement will require the General Assembly to approve $1.9 million new  bonding before the end of the 2014 session on May 7. The town of Old Saybrook is planning a June referendum to authorize local borrowing of more than $3 million. An additional $1.4 million federal funds for the purchase of open space will also be used. Another $2-3 million will be put in for the purchase by the private, non-profit group Trust for Public Land.