At one time, Connecticut and Long Island Sound were covered in a sheet of ice that was part of the Late Wisconsin Glacier which dates to about 18,000 years ago. Long Island Sound was formed when glacial ice tore a huge hole in the land and formed Lake Connecticut. As the sea levels and sediments shifted, the lake receded, making way for the rivers and ocean to take its place, forming what we know today as Long Island Sound. On our way to Sheffield Island Lighthouse, with the Norwalk Seaport Association, we cruise Long Island Sound. We have put together some fun facts about Long Island Sound to think about during your on-the-water adventure.
Sounding Off – Fun Facts!
Technically, Long Island Sound is an estuary getting its water from the Atlantic Ocean, the Thames, Housatonic, Mianus, Mill, Norwalk, Pequonnock, and the Connecticut Rivers.
90% of the freshwater in Long Island Sound comes from three main rivers in Connecticut, the Thames, the Housatonic, and the Connecticut Rivers.
Long Island’s directional positioning is unusual among estuaries in the United States. Most large estuaries are orientated north-south. Long Island Sound has an east-west orientation.
If you draw a straight line down the center, Long Island Sound is approximately 21 miles wide at its widest point and 113 miles long. The amazing thing to remember is that it covers more than 600 miles of coastline because of all the bays and inlets.
Long Island’s surface area is 1300 square miles and contains about 67 billion tons of water.
The deepest channel in Long Island Sound is known as “The Race.” The depth of this channel ranges between 60 feet and 350 feet deep.
This estuary is sheltered from high winds and has two high and two low tides a day, making it perfect for boating. This is one of many reasons why our cruise to Sheffield Island is so pleasant.
Long Island Sound is Connecticut’s most important natural resource according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). More than eight million people live in Long Island Sound’s watershed area. The recreational activities enjoyed along the Connecticut coast generate more than $5.5 billion per year.
DEEP also notes that Long Island Sound provides feeding, breeding, and nesting areas for a diversity of plants and animals. It is home to 120 species of finfish and countless birds.
To learn more about the Long Island Sound watershed area and for a Connecticut Coastal Access Guide, click https://www.depdata.ct.gov/maps/coastalaccess/index.html