Floating Classroom: Estuary Is Living Lab for Connecticut Kids

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Floating Classroom: Estuary Is Living Lab for Connecticut Kids

Covering some 52,000 acres, the new Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve protects a vast swath of some of the last undeveloped Long Island Sound coastline. Here, fresh water from rivers and streams mixes with ocean tides, creating an estuary.

Safeguarding these brackish waters means safeguarding important nursery grounds for migratory fish—and a living laboratory for area students. Teacher Kathy Howard and her classes from Marine Science Magnet High School in the town of Groton rely on the estuary as an open-air classroom and an inspiration for the next generation of scientists and conservationists. “I think that we have a lot of students that are starting to recognize, hey, you can do this.,” Kathy says. “You can make the change.”

For more on the Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve, see the full story in Trust magazine, “Where Rivers Meet the Sea

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A boat floating in an estuary with a flock of birds flying overhead
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Trust Magazine

Where Rivers Meet the Sea

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Trust Magazine

A grand osprey nest sits atop a wooden post rising above golden switch grass at the mouth of the Connecticut River, right where it pours into Long Island Sound. The nest is one of many that the majestic fish-eating raptors use as a home base—and a perch to spy their next meal.