Author: M. McKee

Connecticut Beaches and Dunes: A Hazard Guide for Coastal Property Owners

dune_loss
Dune loss at Harkness Beach. Photo: Micheal P. Grzywinski, CT DEEP

Storms and associated hazards such as flooding and erosion can damage coastal property and affect beaches and dunes that provide valuable habitat for uniquely adapted species of plants and animals. This website will help you evaluate threats and identify what you can do to protect your coastal property and the natural environment.

While beaches occupy only about 14 percent, or 87 miles, of Connecticut’s coastline, the shoreline is densely populated. Hazards of living near a beach or dune system include hurricanes and nor’easters, erosion, storm surge, and flooding. Learn more about Connecticut’s beaches and dunes and determine if your beach property is eroding.

Checklist to ID coastal hazards on your property

A checklist has been developed to help you identify and rank beach and dune hazards using the resources in this guide and by conducting a field inventory of your property.

Download Beach, Dune & Coastal Flooding checklist

 

Beach Hazard Response Actions at a Glance

Actions Pros Cons Effort Cost
Do nothing Low cost, easy to implement Unexpected results; uncertain future Low $
Move landward Reduces hazard to structures Expense, site constraints; may not address erosion Low-High  $$-$$$
Elevate structure Reduces hazard Expense, site constraints; may not address erosion Low-Med $-$$
Design appropriately Reduces hazard Expense, site constraints Low-High $$-$$$
Construct a Living Shoreline Reduces wave energy, increases natural processes and wildlife/fish habitat, protects uplands, improves water quality Expense, site constraints, regular maintenance Low-Med $-$$
Protect, enhance, construct dunes Protects uplands, adds sand Expense, site constraints, regular maintenance Low-Med $-$$
Erect sand fencing Fencing helps to trap sand Temporary, easily knocked down by storms, restricts bird habitat Low $
Nourish the beach Reuses or adds sediment, creates habitat Expense, site constraints Med-High $$$
Repair a seawall Repairs may be covered by general permit Emergency, temporary, expensive; leads to false sense of security; can cause erosion, scouring, undermining of wall, potentially damaging to adjacent and alongshore property and habitats Low-Med $$-$$$

CTSG Attends Sea Grant Week 2016

Many of our Connecticut Sea Grant staff attended Sea Grant Week in Newport RI on October 10-17. We were celebrating Sea Grant’s 50th Anniversary of serving the nation with science-based solutions in the coastal and Great Lakes states. Presentations and networking allowed us to share ideas and successes with our colleagues from all over the USA, Guam, and guests from Japan and Korea. A big part of the meeting was planning a vision forward for our next 50 years, and how to prioritize needs and identify partners.

The group decided to continue the next 4 years with these priorities:

  • Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
  • Resilient Communities & Economies
  • Sustainable Fisheries & Aquaculture
  • Environmental Literacy & Workforce Development

Sea Grant Week 2016

Our program was pleased to receive, with New Hampshire and Maine Sea Grant, the Sea Grant Research to Application Award for a group effort. The award was selected for our efforts in research and outreach integration in Sea Vegetable aquaculture.

Sea Grant SGA President Sylvain DeGuise (our program director) presented the Sea Grant Association Distinguished Service Award to Admiral Richard (Dick) West, who also serves on our CTSG Senior Advisory Board. The award recognizes individuals who have provided truly superior service benefiting the entire Sea Grant College Program Network. The nomination read as follows: “Admiral West has served tirelessly on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board, enthusiastically accepting the most difficult assignments while remaining respectful, effective and collegial. Dick has consistently engaged the Administration (including NOAA leadership and OMB) and members of Congress to speak highly about Sea Grant.”

Also honored was Richard Blumenthal, US Senator from Connecticut, who received the Sea Grant Association Award. The Sea Grant Association Award recognizes an individual for direct demonstrable contributions through research, education/training, advisory, or public service activities which embody Sea Grant concepts, or have been effective users of Sea Grant products. The nomination read as follows: “Senator Blumenthal’s commitment to coastal and ocean issues has remained consistent and steadfast. He recently played a significant role in the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the first marine national monument in the U.S. Atlantic. ”

Among the many distinguished guest speakers addressing the challenges of the future were Dr. Jonathan Pennock, Director of the National Sea Grant Office, Dr. Bob Ballard, URI, and U.S.Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

One highlight was a field trip to the Deepwater Wind Farm, 3 miles offshore of Block Island, expected to soon power 17,000 homes as a pilot project.

Read all about it here.

Go to the official Sea Grant Week 2016 website

2017 Guide to Shellfishing on the Connecticut Coast

Connecticut Shellfishing GuidanceT. Getchis and Kristin DeRosia-Banick
This newly updated guide compiles information to help anyone get started in recreational shellfishing. It gives a rundown on what types of shellfish (clams, oysters, etc.) are found in this region and also includes information on where to go for permits, prices, contacts, etc. with information specific to each Connecticut coastal town.

Free: Download here

 

Wrack Lines (Spring/Summer 2016): Vol. 16, No. 1

Wrack Lines (Fall/Winter 2015): Vol. 15, No. 2

Wrack Lines (Spring/Summer 2015): Vol. 15, No. 1

Wrack Lines – Fall/Winter 2014 (Vol. 14, No. 2)

Index

Download entire issue PDF(3.3 MB) or download articles below. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat reader available at Adobe.com.

2014 Shrimp Expedition – Research on Invasive Shrimp

shrimp
Palaemon macrodactylus, an invasive shrimp species

Shrimp are tasty and good for you, right? So why worry about invasive shrimp coming to our shores? The reason for concern is that such invasive species often thrive and compete with native species, sometimes even driving them out, and may further impact the prey species of the shrimp as well. Dr. James T. Carlton, a world-renowned expert on invasive species, led a team conducting dockside surveys to assess the spread and abundance of invasive non-native shrimp in the Northeastern United States. In the summer of 2014, with partial funding from the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium, Carlton and project coordinator Shannon Weigle launched Shrimp Expedition 2014, using floating docks at public and private marinas as sampling sites.

The ShrimpEx14 team, consisting of Dr. Carlton, colleagues from colleges and universities along the coast, and undergraduate research assistants, sampled 74 sites from Calais, Maine to Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Prior to the project, the invasive Asian shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus had been found from Massachusetts to northern New Jersey, but during the expedition was documented from New Hampshire to central New Jersey. The European shrimp Palaemon elegans had been reported largely from north of Cape Cod, but was found as far south as Narragansett Bay, and is expected to proceed south into Long Island Sound. The survey documented the previously unknown relative abundance of both introduced and native shrimp. The team also recorded for the first time the extent of the co-occurrence of native and introduced shrimp, as well as the first instance of both invasive species occurring together in North America. Carlton is Williams College Professor Emeritus of Marine Sciences and Director Emeritus of the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College-Mystic Seaport.

Wrack Lines – Spring/Summer 2014 (Vol. 14, No. 1)

Index

Download entire issue PDF(3.3 MB) or download articles below. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat reader available at Adobe.com by.

New England Seaweed Culture Handbook: Nursery Systems

Wrack Lines - no coverSarah Redmond, Lindsay Green, Charles Yarish, Jang Kim and Christopher Neefus.

92-page illustrated handbook shows how to culture 4 ecologically and economically important seaweeds native to New England. They are kelp, nori, Gracilaria and Chondrus. UConn and University of New Hampshire research teams give your their expertise.

Free. Download here

Companion 6-part video series, Seaweed culture in New England