"Estuaries such as Long Island Sound are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. The Sound supports diverse marine life, including most of the fish and shellfish we value as food ..."

– Connecticut Sea Grant

Conservation & Research

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Long Island Sound Fun Fact

Long Island Sound is 113 miles long, 21 miles wide (at its widest) and holds about 18 trillion gallons of water. Its average depth is 63 feet – which is just a little deeper than the height of our IMAX screen! Can you fathom that?!

The Maritime Aquarium wants you ...

… To Be A Sound Steward


Do you love Long Island Sound and all the creatures that live in and around it? If so, help us promote a healthy Sound for the future by living a Sound Friendly lifestyle.

Remember the land-water connection. What we do on our land directly impacts Long Island Sound. You can control the polluted runoff from your neighborhood by taking the following steps:

  • Scoop that poop! It is estimated that two or three days’ worth of dog doo from about 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing.
  • Use less fertilizer. (Use too much and it just runs off your lawn and into the watershed, leading to excessive algae blooms, which cause dead zones in the Sound.) Create a compost pile to provide natural nutrients for your garden. Create a worm bin.
  • Take your dirty car to a car wash. Commercial car washes are reducing their environmental footprints through water reclamation and treatment processes.
  • Don’t litter. That piece of plastic can be carried into a waterway during a rainstorm and put a strain on aquatic life.

Remember that water flows downstream. Long Island Sound is downstream of almost everything in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. The Sound does not have an endless capacity to absorb waste.

You and your family have the power to keep Long Island Sound clean and its inhabitants safe.
Join us in protecting our natural resources. Be a Sound Steward!!

To learn more and to help support The Maritime Aquarium efforts to learn more about Long Island Sound, click here for the Long Island Sound Biodiversity Project.


Learn more about organizations focusing on Long Island Sound and conservation issues by clicking the links below:
Long Island Sound Study
Long Island Soundkeeper
Save the Sound
Norwalk Seaport Association


Sustainable Seafood & Seafood Watch

The old adage “there are plenty of fish in the sea” is no longer true. Seafood stocks are under increased pressure worldwide to provide for growing populations. This increased demand has taken a toll on fish populations and the health of the oceans. Two-thirds of the world’s fishing areas are considered over-fished. And the frenzy to keep up with the demand from consumers produces a stunning 30 million tons a year of wasted catch – animals caught accidentally and discarded for dead. This “by-catch” not only includes sharks and other fish but turtles, sea birds and marine mammals as well. Efforts are being made to change the destructive fishing methods that damage habitats and produce tons of “by-catch. " Aquaculture or “fish farming” is providing some relief to the demands on fisheries.

Sustainable seafood is becoming an increasingly important part of the formula for healthy oceans. Sustainable seafood is shellfish and fish caught or farmed in environmentally responsible ways. That means the methods used to grow or collect the fish did not impair the health and productivity of the ocean’s ecosystem.

Many people assume that any fish that is farm raised is “good” or sustainable -- and that is not the case. Typical methods of farming fish have harmful impacts on fish populations and the environment. Open-ocean net pens are sources of pollution from waste and excess feed, and can allow the spread of disease and parasites to wild fish populations. Genetically altered and non-native escapees from fish farms pose a different set of problems!

Conservation groups have developed public awareness campaigns to help inform us about the issues involved with keeping the oceans healthy. Seafood Watch is a program developed by Monterey Bay Aquarium to educate consumers about sustainable seafood. seafood watch guide copyThey publish a regional pocket guide for consumers with common seafoods listed as “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives” and “Avoid,” depending on the current status of the species. Click here for a current Seafood Watch pocket guide for the Northeast.

Explore the issue of sustainable seafood when you visit the "Go Fish!" exhibit in The Maritime Aquarium. At the exhibit's Jumper Herde Café – sponsored by Aquarium Trustee Michael Herde and his wife, Nancy Jumper Herde, of New Canaan – a mock seafood café shows how we “fish eaters” can make good choices in markets and restaurants to help support healthy fish populations and smart fishing methods. Copies of the Seafood Watch pocket guides also are available in "Go Fish!"

Carry your pocket guide with you and when you shop or dine out, and ask questions about the seafood selections on the menu. There is a direct link between the seafood we eat and the health of the ocean.

The Maritime Aquarium proudly partners with Seafood Watch in advocating sustainable seafood.

“The Maritime Aquarium wants to do more than display marine life for public enjoyment,” says Dr. Brian Davis, president of The Maritime Aquarium. “We want people to be informed about the importance of healthy oceans. We want them to know that as consumers they can make a difference by making smart choices, choosing fish and shellfish that are well-managed.”

The Aquarium has been working with area businesses to support the guidelines offered by Seafood Watch. We would like to help our visitors find restaurants that feature sustainable seafood. Please support these establishments that offer sustainable seafood. Make good choices for a healthy ocean. You can make a difference.

Seafood Watch has developed an extensive list of sustainable seafood programs tailored to consumers, restaurants, retailers, educators and links to other resources. Click on Seafood Watch to explore their website and take some steps to be part of the solution.