Water quality in Southport Harbour, Sasco Creek will be investigated

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FAIRFIELD, CT – As part of an effort to better understand water quality issues along the Connecticut coastline, researchers will collect water samples from Southport Harbor in Fairfield and Sasco Creek over the course of of the next three years.

A study is being conducted by the Fairfield Harbor Management Commission in conjunction with the US Geological Survey and the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Its goal is to expand scientific knowledge about water quality issues – specifically, whether excess nutrients in streams and rivers flowing into Long Island Sound are contributing to eelgrass loss. , an important underwater habitat for fish.

In May, scientists will begin installing equipment – ​​including a marked buoy platform at the mouth of Southport Harbor and instruments at the Pequot Yacht Club – to collect water quality data.

Data will be collected automatically and scientists will manually take water samples at these two locations and at the mouth of Sasco Creek under the Pequot Avenue Bridge as well.

“We are excited to work with the USGS and CT DEEP in this research,” said Kim Taylor, chairman of the Fairfield Harbor Management Commission. “We think many in Fairfield are already aware of the water quality issues in Long Island Sound when too much nitrogen and other micronutrients from fertilizer runoff upstream in our rivers and streams flow into the strait. The result was excessive algal growth and phytoplankton blooms.”

The data collected will help lawmakers create policies designed to improve Long Island Sound’s habitat and environment, both for its marine life and for the people who live near it.

“We are confident that Fairfield’s boating and fishing community will also support this important work,” said Bryan LeClerc, Harbor Master of Fairfield and Southport. “We all have a stake in collecting scientific information that can help improve the water quality of the Harbor and Long Island Sound in the future.”

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