Long Island Sound

Living Treasures: Plants and Animals of Long Island Sound

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Lisa Wahle and Nancy Balcom
Connecticut Sea Grant has revised its old favorite, “Living Treasures: Plants and Animals of Long Island Sound” has more beautiful line drawings and updated expanded text. Reading level: middle school. Also in Spanish translation: Tesoros Vivientes. Single copies are FREE! Shipping charges apply for bulk orders. To receive a copy, contact: Office manager

Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher (LISMT) Program

LISSMT Program
Long Island Sound Mentor Teachers (LISMT) assist their peers in incorporating Long Island Sound content into curricula within the scope of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Connecticut educators are strongly influenced by standards in multiple subjects in terms of curriculum, instruction and assessment. With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), there is a significant change in the way science is taught and assessed. Since the release, states across the country are considering adoption, in whole or in part, of the NGSS. Connecticut officially adopted NGSS on November 4, 2015 with a unanimous vote of the Connecticut State Board of Education. A four year implementation plan to transition to NGSS is in development. An online short course (Next-Gen Science CT) has been developed to assist Connecticut educators with the transition.

Since its inception in FY02, the Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher (LISMT) program in Connecticut has consistently recruited high quality, creative and respected teachers to assist their peers in incorporating Long Island Sound content into curricula within the scope of the NGSS.

To date, 33 LISMT workshops in Connecticut have utilized 27 LIS mentor teachers to reach 445 formal and informal K-12 educators, and through them, a self-reported 24,992 students in 96 Connecticut cities, towns and regional school districts. With the release of the NGSS, the successful LISMT program is even more relevant. Educators are incorporating Earth systems science, which includes ocean, coastal and climate change topics, into the K-12 curriculum. The LISMT program will ensure that current science-based content will be utilized by mentor teachers and participants during the transition to the new standards. To help with this transition and with LISS support, Sea Grant hosted a three-day summer institute for middle and high school educators in 2014. The institute reached 22 teachers and through them, 2,749 students. The format of the institute was scientific presentations and related hands-on activities that linked current and relevant Long Island Sound science to NGSS Frameworks. The total number of Connecticut cities, towns and regional school districts reached through 2016 via both these programs is 96 or 57%.

Partnered with

Long Island Sound Study

Project number: ET-11

For more information, contact:

Diana Payne, CTSG Education Coordinator

Mentor Teacher Program

A Student’s Guide to the Phytoplankton of Long Island Sound

Wrack Lines - no coverPeg Van Patten, Judy Yaqin Li and Gary H. Wikfors.
A digital guide to the microscopic world of phytoplankton, which make possible all of the creatures in Long Island Sound. A wonderful aid for high school or freshman college biology classes. Funded by the EPA Long Island Sound Study. 60 pages, illlustrated.

Free download. Click here.

A Guide to Planting Along the Connecticut Coast

Wrack Lines - no coverJuliana Barrett, Ph.D.
This 22-page guide lists native trees, shrubs and vines that are appropriate for planting in Connecticut’s coastal zone. It includes a map of that ecoregion and characteristics of each species, such as tolerance to salt water and salt spray, with light and soil requirements. Download here in PDF.

Publication Number CTSG-11-03

Long Island Sound Curricular Resource Guide

LIS Curricular Resource Guide - coverFunded by the EPA Long Island Sound Study and edited by Diana Payne, the 148-page guide is a resource for educators teaching about Long Island Sound. The Guide is divided into five sections: 1) background information about Long Island Sound (LIS), 2) LIS activities, 3) LIS lesson plans, 4) science lessons at a LIS field site, and 5) resources. The lesson plans and field site section were written by CT Sea Grant LIS Mentor Teachers, K-12 teachers who currently utilize LIS as a teaching tool in their curriculum. All lessons are aligned to the CT Science Frameworks, the NY Science Standards, the National Science Education Standards, and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts. To obtain a print copy, please email Office Manager. Copies of  the Guide are free, but you must pay shipping charges unless you pick up the Guide at the Connecticut Sea Grant office.

Download free PDF copy here in 5 parts:

  1. Background (Pages 1-16)
  2. Long Island Sound Activities (Pages 17-31)
  3. Lesson Plans (Pages 32-73)
  4. Science Lessons at a LIS Field Site (Pages 74-122)
  5. Resources (Pages 123-150)

A Planting Guide for Riparian Sites Along the Connecticut Coast

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Juliana Barrett and Rachael Cleveland
This 8-page pamphlet, published in 2009, describes some of Connecticut’s coastal habitats, the functions and values of riparian buffers, and how to plant a riparian buffer. Such buffers can minimize the impacts of polluted runoff on water quality and coastal habitats. Free print copies while quantities last. Please add $1.25 for postage, or simply download here in PDF.

Publication Number CTSG-09-12

The Vegetation Mosaic of Ragged Rock Creek Brackish Tidal Marsh, Connecticut River, Old Saybrook CT

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William H. Moorhead III, Cary Chadwick, Sandy Prisloe, Juliana Barrett and Nels Barrett

This study used the detailed plots-based floristic descriptions of traditional phytosociology to inform scenes of high resolution imagery to characterize and map, in detail, the brackish tidal wetland plant communities of Ragged Rock Creek. An emphasis was placed on providing a baseline geographic context for plants of conservation and management interest, i.e., both state-listed plants and invasive plants. The results provided a baseline vegetation assessment and map prior to invasive Phragmites australis (common reed) control and restoration by onsite re-vegetation.

Published by Connecticut DEP. Download here

Salt Marsh Plants of Long Island Sound


R. Scott Warren, Juliana Barrett, and Margaret Van Patten

This 38-page guide provides an overview of salt marsh habitats in the Long Island Sound region, and includes 23 individual plant descriptions with color photos and line drawings. It has a centerfold depicting marsh habitats and the location of salt marsh plants within the marsh. Single copies are FREE to K-12 educators (write on letterhead); please include $2.00 postage per copy. for others, $5.00 per copy plus postage. Please make checks payable to Connecticut Sea Grant. Call 860-405-9128 for bulk orders, and we will estimate shipping charge.

Publication Number CTSG-09-14 and Arboretum Bulletin 40. Contact Office Manager or download order form.

Sound Facts: Fun Facts about Long Island Sound Second Edition


M. Van Patten, M. Moore and E. O’Muin

A fun and colorful, 80-page booklet about our favorite estuary, its biology, geology, chemical and physical parameters, and environmental concerns. This booklet is a compilation of features developed as a collaboration between Connecticut Sea Grant and The Day newspaper. Perfect for the classroom. Reissued in 2009, it contains some new info-graphics such as moon jellies, starfish, and nitrogen in the Sound. 80 pp. $5.00 per copy plus $2.00 postage/shipping for single copies. Please contact us for bulk shipping cost.

Publication Number CTSG-09-17
Contact Office Manager or download order form.