Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife
Refuge: Chimon Island Unit and Sheffield Island Unit.
islands off the shore of Norwalk, Connecticut.
A ferry to Sheffield Island leaves from Hope Dock, located near the Maritime Aquarium.
A private vessel must be used to reach Chimon Island Unit.
Stewart B. McKinney NWR now consists of eight refuge units spread across 60 miles of Connecticut's coastline, from Westbrook to Norwalk.
Other units in the Refuge:
Falkner Island, Guilford
Milford Point, Milford
Salt Meadow, Westbrook
Goose Island, Westport
Great Meadows Marsh, Stratford
Outer Island in Branford.
Calves Island is a unit a unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, a part of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Residents of Connecticut were alarmed by the developed of islands off the Connecticut coast fearing that the shore birds would be negative affected.
1972 – Ester Lape donated over 150 acres of land in Westbrook, CT to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It became the Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge, Connecticut's first National Wildlife Refuge. (Salt Meadow grew to 274 acres).
1984 – Chimon and Goose Islands near Norwalk, CT and Milford Point in Milford, CT were acquired by US Fish and Wildlife Service and added to the Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge (the name changed to Connecticut's Coastal National Wildlife Refuge).
1987 – the name of the refuge changed to honor US Congressman Stewart B. McKinney, who had an integral role in the refuge's formation.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
Coastal Dunes: ~Coastal Sand Dunes - poorly developed depositional systems on Long Island Sound with adjacent low energy beaches. Includes Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) - Beach plum (Prunus maritima) shrublands, Beach heather (Hudsonia tomentosa) dwarf shrublands, Beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata) medium-tall grasslands and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) medium-tall grasslands. Example - Meig's Point, Hammonasset Natural Area Preserve, Clinton, Bluff Point Natural Area Preserve, Groton, Griswold Point, Old Lyme (TNC), Milford Point, Milford (Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge)
(Source: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection: Connecticut's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy: Species and Habitat Lists http://dep.state.ct.us/burnatr/wildlife/geninfo/fedaid/cwcs/sphblist.asp?Group=Habitats)
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