CT Fund for the Environment
142 Temple Street, Suite 305
New Haven, CT 06510
Work: 203-787-0646
Fax: 203-787-0246

Habitat Restoration

What is the problem?
About 10 percent of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of Long Island Sound, making the Sound region one of the most densely populated areas in our nation.

While it’s true that our beautiful coastal region remains a jewel among New England scenic attractions, Long Island Sound is in need of serious restoration and preservation.

Many marine habitats have been degraded and even lost; threats to them include: development, sea level rise, pollution, eutrophication, and invasive non-native species.

Our work
In an effort to reverse this loss and save our environmental legacy, Save the Sound partners with public and private community organizations, landowners, and the general public to work to repair these problems.

Since 2002, Save the Sound and its partners have:

  • restored 78 miles of river habitat and 400 acres of lake habitat to migratory fish passage through barrier removal and barrier rehabilitation such as fishways and other improvements;
  • restored 171 acres of degraded saltmarsh by returning tidal flow through culvert improvements and barrier removals; and
  • planted 24 acres of native species through river embankment restoration, dune restoration, and submerged eelgrass restoration.

Types of habitat restoration
Save the Sound facilitates several types of habitat restoration projects including:

  • Marsh restoration — by re-introducing tidal flow stagnant, non-native filled marshes can rebound.
  • Migratory fish passage — this is done by removing barriers such as dams, building fishways, and making other improvements.
  • Fish counting — Counter installation to tally migratory fish passage.
  • Planting — planting native plant species in key habitat areas both on land and in the water.


West River Tide Gates, New Haven, CT
West River
This project is currently in the construction phase. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Save the Sound is coordinating the replacement of three existing tide gates with self-regulating ones. Once the tide gates are replaced, water from Long Island Sound will be able to flush the marsh, improving water quality, increasing salinity against non-native plants and for native marsh vegetation, and improving fish passage for foraging and spawning.

This is the second of Save the Sound’s projects funded through NOAA ARRA funds. The first, Bride Brook in East Lyme, was completed in 2010. To see pictures of this project, click here.

Sunken Meadow State Park Marsh Restoration, Smithtown, NY
Sunken Meadow Barrier
This project is in the engineering and design phase. The replacement of an earthen barrier in the park with an open channel and pedestrian bridge will restore tidal flow to over 132 acres of salt marsh.

Pequonnock River Apron Fish Passage Improvement, Bridgeport, CT
This project is in the planning of construction phase. Once this shallow area is modified, five river miles will be restored for migratory fish. The Pequonnock River Apron Project is supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Funding is also being provided by the Ecosystem Management and Habitat Restoration Grants administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.


Wallace Dam Fishway Project, Wallingford, CT
Wallace Dam Construction Wallace Dam Complete
This project was completed in April 2012. The fishway will restore more than 17 miles of river and 171 acres of lake and pond to migratory fish foraging and spawning by providing a corridor for fish to swim around the dam. It was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and through the Ecosystem Management and Habitat Restoration Grants administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.


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