Long Island Sound National Estuarine Research Reserve Information
  Meetings - Agendas - Minutes
Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Partnership Team: 
Manages all aspects of the selection process to ensure that the nominated site meets Federal NERR goals as well as Connecticut’s needs regarding long-term protection, research on coastal management issues, land management, and public education and outreach. 
  • Brian Thompson, Director, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) Land and Water Resources Division
  • Kevin O’Brien, CTDEEP Land and Water Resources Division
  • Sylvain De Guise, Ph.D., Director, Connecticut SeaGrant
  • Evan Ward, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut (UConn) - Avery Point
  • Craig Tobias, Ph.D., Department of Marine Sciences, UConn - Avery Point
  • Jamie Vaudrey, Ph.D., Department of Marine Sciences, UConn - Avery Point
  • Ivar Babb, Director, Northeast Underwater Research Technology and Education Center; Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence - Technology & Engineering for Knowledge
Federal NERR Program Team:
The NERR System has dedicated staff to act as liaisons between established NERR leadership and Connecticut.  These staff will provide general guidance to the Connecticut teams during the process and assistance in communication and education about the NERR system.
  • Erica Seiden, Program Manager, Ecosystems and NERRS Program, Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Allison Castellan, Coastal Management Specialist, Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • R. Randall Schneider, Senior Coastal Management Specialist/Acting Operations Manager, Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Regional NERR Team:
Comprised of invited representatives from existing Reserves in the Southern New England sub-region.  These individuals will bring key knowledge to the process regarding typology, experience in management of a NERR site, and implementation of required programs.
Site Selection Team:
Responsible for inventorying, analyzing and evaluating sites for a potential Connecticut NERR.  The team will consist of a core group of subject matter experts to provide leadership and continuity to the selection process.   In additional, they will be empowered to identify and engage outside experts who can provide additional information as needed to fully and completely evaluate sites.
Core Members:
  • Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner, CTDEEP Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources
  • Dave Kozak, CTDEEP Land and Water Resources Division
  • Mark Parker, CTDEEP Water Planning, Long Island Sound Study Coordinator
  • Shannon Kearney, CTDEEP Wildlife
  • Chris Elphick, Ph.D., Departmert of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UConn - Storrs
  • Jamie Vaudrey, Ph.D., Department of Marine Sciences, UConn - Avery Point
  • Michael Whitney, Ph.D., Department of Marine Sciences, UConn - Avery Point
  • Roman Zajac, Ph.D., Department of Biology & Environmental Science, University of New Haven
  • Scott Warren, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Botany, Connecticut College
  • Chantal Collier, The Nature Conservancy
  • John Forbis, CT Audubon Society, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Board
  • Ralph Wood, CT Audubon Society, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Board
  • Peter Auster, Ph.D., UConn (Emeritus)/Mystic Aquarium
  • Diana Payne, Ph.D., Connecticut SeaGrant
  • Julianna Barrett, Ph.D., Connecticut SeaGrant
Outside Experts:
  • James Ammerman, Ph.D., EPA Long Island Sound Study
  • Suzanne Paton, US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Patrick Comins, Connecticut Audubon Society
  • Ralph Lewis, Public (CTDEEP- retired/UConn Marine Sciences Emeritus)
  • Jim O'Donnell, PH.D., Department of Marine Sciences - UConn Avery Point
  • Ron Rozsa, Public (CTDEEP - retired)
NERR Meetings 
November 13, 2018
Site Nomination Public Information and Comment Meeting
May 16, 2017
Public Status Update - Preliminary Site Selection Results
October 4, 2016
Site Selection Team
Preliminary Site Review Meeting
August 15, 2016
Site Selection Team
Conference Call Follow-up to
June 30, 2016 Meeting
June 30, 2016
Site Selection Team Meeting 2
May 18, 2016
Site Selection Team Meeting
April 12, 2016
NERR Kick-off Meeting
After an extensive review process, the proposed site includes portions of the lower Connecticut River and eastern Long Island Sound and is comprised of the following state-owned land and water areas:  Lord Cove Wildlife Management Area; Great Island Wildlife Management Area; Bluff Point State Park, Coastal Reserve and Natural Area Preserve; Haley Farm State Park; and the public trust portions of waterbodies defined by:
(a) Long Island Sound ranging approximately west to east from the mouth of the Connecticut River to Mason’s Island and north to south waterward of the mean high water shoreline to just before the Connecticut state boundary in Long Island Sound; 
(b) the area waterward of the mean high shoreline of the lower Thames River from approximately the Gold Star Bridge south to the area described in (a);
(c) the area waterward of the mean high shoreline of the lower Connecticut River from approximately Lord Cove south to the area described in (a).
Select the Map for Larger Image

The proposed site will significantly contribute to the research, education, and natural resource stewardship goals of the national NERR program, and was selected to meet the guidelines of the NOAA policy on NERR expansion.  For a complete description of the selection process, please refer to the nomination report.
From 2016 to 2018, the Site Selection Team, in consultation with the Partnership Team and Federal /Regional NERR Teams, worked diligently to review and assess potential sites to nominate as a Connecticut NERR.  The results of those efforts are catalogued in the following materials, which were submitted to NOAA on January 3, 2019:
  • Governor’s Letter:  Formal letter of nomination from Governor Dannel P. Malloy to Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / NOAA Administrator
  • Nomination Report:  the final report documenting the efforts and results of Connecticut’s Site Selection Process
  • Nomination Report Appendices:  supplementary documents and materials developed, used or received as part of the site selection process.
Content Last Updated April 11, 2019