At SUUS this Tuesday, June 11, 7:00 PM : Menunkatuck Audubon Society

  Tuesday, June 11, 7:00 PM
Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society 
297 Boston Post Road, Madison 

For a relatively small state, Connecticut is blessed with two of the nation’s largest and most biologically significant estuaries — places where salty ocean water mixes with freshwater. The Connecticut River and Long Island Sound estuaries are two of the planet’s most productive ecosystems, and these are no hidden treasures. International groups have long recognized the wildlife riches of our region, as we’ve seen in the recent Federal designation of parts of our coast and rivers within the new National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The lower Connecticut River is the most pristine large-river tidal marsh system in the Northeast, thanks mainly to the lack of a major port at or near its mouth. Constantly shifting sandbars and sediment reefs have always made the lower Connecticut River a difficult place for larger ships. The lack of an urban, industrialized port has preserved the unspoiled rural character of the landscape around the river and protected its many brackish and freshwater environments.

In addition to hosting large populations of migratory waterfowl, the rich tidal marshes of the Connecticut are home to several rare, threatened, or endangered species, including the Bald Eagle, Shortnose Sturgeon, Puritan Tiger Beetle, and the tiny, beach-nesting Piping Plover and Least Tern. Naturalist Patrick J. Lynch’s talk will look at some of the glories of our local shore and river wildlife, and the likely impact of human activity and climate change on the Sound and the River.

Pat spent years researching the Connecticut River for his new book A Field Guide to the Connecticut River: From New Hampshire to Long Island Sound. The book offers an expansive guide to this majestic region with more than 750 original maps, photographs, and illustrations. Organized around environments rather than particular locations, the book includes geological overviews and descriptions of common plants and animals. Lynch also explains the landscape’s environmental history as well as the effects of centuries of human interventions and the growing fallout from climate change.

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