Unlike people, fish, birds, shellfish and sea turtles don’t observe state borders or restrict their travel to mapped highways. For this reason, The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Sound Program also reaches across boundaries, encompassing staff scientists and collaborating with partners from the three states and many programs that have connections to the sound: New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
More than 21 million people live within 50 miles of Long Island Sound’s shores, where coastal development and demand for food, energy and jobs have been increasingly straining its natural resources for decades. Still, this area is also home to a surprisingly diverse array of plants, animals and habitats, including four species of sea turtle, fish ranging from skates to anchovies, as well as salt marshes and eelgrass meadows that are among the most biologically productive places on the planet.
Despite its challenges, the Long Island Sound retains much of its natural character and is recognized as one of 28 nationally significant estuaries by the National Estuary Program. The Nature Conservancy is committed to advancing science and working with partners to revitalize and protect a healthy, resilient Sound for marine life and the communities who depend on it for their livelihood and well-being.