Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound is Connecticut’s largest and most important natural resource. More than 8 million people live in the Long Island Sound watershed and the activities that take place on and along the Sound – boating, fishing, tourism, and swimming – contribute an estimated $5.5 billion per year to the regional economy. The Sound provides feeding, breeding, and nesting areas for a diversity of plant and animal life.
One of the region's largest estuaries with an area of 1,320 square miles, the Sound is home to more than 120 species of finfish and countless varieties of birds and other animals. Between New York and Connecticut, the Sound’s coastline stretches more than 600 miles.
Over the last three decades, Connecticut has made a significant commitment to protecting and restoring the Sound. Millions and millions of dollars have been invested in communities throughout its watershed to address pollution concerns and protect the tidal wetlands along its shore.
Throughout this section you will find more information about the overall health of the Sound, the programs in place to protect and restore the Sound, and the recreational and access opportunities available to the public on and along the Sound.
Updated CT Coastal Access Guide offers a variety of locations to experience
An updated Connecticut Coastal Access Guide map is now available to help the public explore Connecticut's shore. Use the Guide to find a variety of coastal recreation opportunities at 346 sites along Connecticut's shoreline and coastal rivers, including little known 'neighborhood-scale' access sites. While all the sites included on this guide are open to the public, DEEP does not manage all of them. Use links embedded within each point on the map to learn more about the types of recreational opportunities available and who to contact with questions or concerns about a site.
Due to public health concerns associated with COVID-19, access to some beaches is being limited during the summer of 2020. For the most recent updates, please visit:
Connecticut Waterfront Updates
Aquaculture & Shellfish (link to DOAG)
Coastal Habitat Restoration
Bathing Beach Water Quality
Clean Marina Program
Clean Boater Program
Clean Vessel Act Program
Water Quality Monitoring
Content Last Updated July 16, 2020.