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Great Meadows Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
Great Meadows tidal marsh is a large wetland area surrounded by the highly urbanized Greater Bridgeport Area and Long Island Sound. It is part of a larger habitat mosaic of barrier beach, forest, shrubland, grassland, and shallow open water estuarine embayment which together are a mecca for wildlife along the Long Island Sound. The marsh complex, which is owned by the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, provides habitat for fish, rare plants, and more than 270 species of migrating and breeding birds. Great Meadows marsh, and surrounding wildlife areas owned by Bridgeport, Stratford, and private property owners, is also recognized by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, in part for helping to protect listed species such as long-tailed duck, semipalmated sandpiper, and piping plover. One of these properties, adjacent to the Great Meadows marsh (the designated Stewardship Site) is Long Beach, a barrier beach that is a haven for beach-nesting birds and includes the recently restored Long Beach West dune and beach.
Patrick Comins, who was the Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Connecticut in 2014, explains what makes Long Beach West a vital habitat for many birds and plants. He now is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Audubon Society.
Removal of abandoned structures and 35 acres of beach and dune habitat successfully restored along Long Beach West.