Science &
Conservation

Read our stories about conservation efforts to improve the quality of the river waters, fish ladders, dam removal, invasive plants, restoring habitats, even the geology of the river from ancient times to today.

Mother Trees

May 31, 2021

“Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” began Tolstoy in his novel Anna Karenina. Take a walk in the woods and you will see trees of different sizes and species reaching up towards the sunlight. One would think that there is a fierce competition between the trees to get to the top of the canopy....

Wild & Scenic Eightmile River

May 31, 2021

Bingham, 80, has spied many splendored things along the Eightmile River through the decades: such as otter and mink, cerulean warblers and bald eagles, bobcat and black bear scat....

A Beauty and A Beast

May 29, 2021

By now, knowledge that invasive plants are bad news is pretty widespread. Numerous articles and agencies cite “billions of dollars” in damages annually to agriculture and fisheries; they are the “leading cause” of population decline and extinction in animals....

A Once and Future Sanctuary

May 28, 2021

In summertime, looking across the Sound, my thoughts turn to Plum Island, New York. I believe this island could be designated a public park and nature sanctuary into perpetuity if accompanied by various restoration imperatives....

Field Notes from the Osprey’s Garden

March 1, 2021

For a week, I “mirrored” the contents of 24 nest poles in the Great Island osprey colony. I use a light convex bicycle mirror on the end of a long, curved bamboo wand. Standing on the salt marsh below a 12-foot-high nest platform, with my arms raised, I could check the progress of each nest....

The Perils of Japanese Knotweed

March 1, 2021

It would be hard to proclaim which plant wins as the worst terrestrial invasive species in the US, but Japanese Knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum, is a clear contender....

Hydropower

November 29, 2020

We are publishing two articles about the hydropower industry in this issue of Estuary. The first offers an overview of, or a peek at, the hydropower industry, an important but largely behind-the-scenes stakeholder in the Connecticut River watershed....

Hydrilla

November 29, 2020

By now, knowledge that invasive plants are bad news is pretty widespread. Numerous articles and agencies cite “billions of dollars” in damages annually to agriculture and fisheries; they are the “leading cause” of population decline and extinction in animals....

From the Publisher:

September 1, 2020

My wife and I had just spent the night in a tent high up in the Tien Shan Mountains of eastern Kyrgyzstan, just down the road from where the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin prepared his physique for space flight....

Land Trusts in the Watershed

September 1, 2020

Land trusts as a mechanism for preserving land for public use have existed for thousands of years. However, most land trusts in the United States established for conservation purposes were created after World War II, starting in the 1960s and 1970s, and continuing today....

Preserving & Appreciating Estuaries

September 1, 2020

This magnificent estuarine expanse is both an aesthetic and utilitarian asset. Estuaries sequester about 20 percent of the world’s carbon, cleanse our waters, and provide comfort and sustenance to countless species, including our own. If you haven’t experienced this salty idyll, up close and personal, put it on your “to see” list....

Vermont Center for Ecostudies

June 1, 2020

SPONSORED CONTENT Just about a mile as the crow (or cardinal, or chickadee) flies from the Connecticut River’s western bank in Norwich, Vermont, sits a nondescript building that houses one of the most effective wildlife conservation organizations in the Northeast that you’ve probably never heard of: the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE)....

A Rude Awakening and Call to Action

June 1, 2020

This fall, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology spearheaded a sobering report, “Decline of the North American Avifauna,” Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1313 (2019), that forces us to moderate our pride in environmental regulations at home....

Meeting of the Waters

June 1, 2020

he tranquility and stunning grandeur of the Connecticut River inspires poets, artists, and musicians. It also attracts picnickers, boaters, and tourists seeking fun and adventure. Like all rivers, however, the Connecticut River is influenced by forces of gravity that move water from source to terminus, or in this case, the half mile of vertical drop from Canada to the River’s mouth at Long Island Sound....

Reclaiming the Marsh

June 1, 2020

A few miles upstream from where the Connecticut River merges with Long Island Sound is Lord Cove Preserve, a picturesque tidal marsh enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts. Kayakers and canoeists call Lord Cove a “corn maze on water,” marveling at its five miles of narrow, looping waterways....

Diatoms

March 1, 2020

On a hot weekend in July, we headed out on the Connecticut River for a wildlife safari. We weren’t aiming to see osprey, swallows, bald eagles, or turtles, though we saw plenty of those. Instead, we were on the hunt for the River’s smallest inhabitants… its microbial wildlife. The presence of such wildlife can be an indicator of the health of a river....

The Estuary’s Most [un]Wanted Plant is Under Water

March 1, 2020

The aquatic plant known as Trapa natans has the unfortunate common name of water chestnut, leading people who are first hearing about it to think that it may well be a bonus source of that good appetizer, with a strip of bacon wrapped around it....