Around the Sound
We use the Sound for so many fun activities—boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, and picnicking, just to name a few. As users, it is our responsibility to make sure that we are using the Sound in a responsible and sustainable way; so many generations to come can also enjoy this incredible natural resource. Read below for ways that you can do your part to restore and protect Long Island Sound.
Keep the Sound Clean
Trash in the water or on beaches is not a welcome sight for beach-goers, boaters, or swimmers. Worse, trash can choke or poison wildlife. In 2007, six million pounds of trash were collected on beaches during the International Coastal Cleanups! We all must do our part to keep our neighborhoods and beaches clean.
- Don’t be a Litter Bug! Don’t throw trash, not even cigarette butts, on the ground. Storm drains empty into Long Island Sound, so never dump any substances down them.
- Clean your local beach. Organize or join a local beach clean-up. For more information about beach cleanups in your area, visit the American Littoral Society’s website or Save the Sound’s website.
Boaters enjoy the Sound but can also have a serious effect on it. Make sure, if you are a boater, you are using this resource in a responsible way.
- Stash Your Trash. Keep all trash on board while boating in inland and coastal waters, that means even things like apple cores and cigarette butts! Leave the water and marina cleaner than you found it-carefully pick up trash left by others.
- Stop aquatic invaders. Invasive species displace native species, disrupt ecosystems, and harm recreational activities. Never transport fish from one body of water to another and never dump unused bait or fish carcasses into Long Island Sound or any other water body. Remove all mud and aquatic plants from gear, boats, motors, and trailers and to drain all water from bilges, live wells, and bait tanks before leaving an access site.
- The Scoop on Poop. Obey the law and keep untreated sewage out of all coastal and inland waters (that means using a pump out station for your holding tank!). If your boat has a head, equip it with a USCG-approved Marine Sanitation Device: Type I, II or III and use enzyme deodorizers for holding tanks and portable toilets.
- Stop the Drops. Know how much fuel your tanks hold and don’t top off! Use oil absorbent pads to catch drips while handing the fuel nozzle between the dock and the boat. Fill up your trailerboat’s gas tanks while the boat is on the trailer, not in the water.
- Maintain Your Boat. Regularly scrub your decks with fresh water and a brush to reduce the need to use heavy cleaners. Try to do large cleaning and maintenance jobs while the boat is out of the water. Ask your marina or underwater diver to recycle used zincs and use a hard anti-fouling paint if you plan on scrubbing the boat bottom while in the water.
Be sure to fish in a manner that is responsible and sustainable so there will be plenty of fish for years to come!
- Obey fishery regulations. Regulations are set using the best science available to ensure the preservation of fish populations for many years to come. For state fishing regulations, please contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at 631-444-0430 or the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at 860- 424-3000.
- Handle with care. If you are planning to catch and release fish, minimize out-of-water time and handle the fish as little as possible. If you have to handle them, hold them with moist hands to protect the layer of slime that keeps the fish healthy. Use a “dehooker” to quickly unhook the fish or cut the line if a fish is deeply hooked.
Observe Wildlife Responsibly
Long Island Sound is home to lots of wildlife, including over 120 species of fish!
- Report marine mammal and sea turtle sightings. Experts can determine if the animal is in need of medical attention, needs to be moved from a populated area, or just needs time to rest. To report a marine mammal or sea turtle that may need help, please call Mystic Aquarium at 860-572-5955, ext 107 (CT) or the Riverhead Foundation at 631-369-9829 (NY).
- Let wildlife be. Often times when we find a young animal alone, we think it is abandoned. Usually, this is not the case; wild animals often leave their young unattended for several hours or more. If you find an animal that you think is abandoned, do not touch it unless it is in immediate danger (if you do touch it, wear gloves to protect yourself!). Call your local nature center and ask to speak to a wildlife rehabilitator; they can access the situation and provide assistance if needed.