I would like to begin by categorizing the harbor into three different areas: the inner, middle and outer harbor. Current research shows that there are higher levels of sediment metal contamination located at the inner harbor and appears to dissipate as you sample from the middle and outer harbor. Students will sample from four sites along the harbor to determine relationships along a coastline. These are the four sites that have been chosen from inner to outer harbors.
Preliminary Site: Outer Island
The beginning of the year sampling site is Outer Island. It is the last island in the Thimble Islands. It has been set aside for Connecticut public schools to conduct research and should also be considered. It is ideal for this research because it is isolated from heavy human activity and can represent a natural habitat. It contains sandy beaches, intertidal flats and rocky shores. Visits to Outer Island can be arranged by contacting the Center for Education and Research at Outer Island (CEROI) by phone at (203) 392-6265. School groups visiting the island do not pay a fee for access to the island or for the supervision provided by faculty and staff of the CSU system. There is a website for CEROI which will give all the details. It is http://www.ctstateu.edu/ceroi/ceroi.htm.
Site One: Quinnipiac River Park
The Quinnipiac River Park is located at mouth of the west bank of the Quinnipiac river between Grand Avenue and Brewery Square. It is a four acre riverfront strip that has been home to many industries over the past three centuries. Fishing and oystering industries, shipbuilding yards and a coal yard have occupied this site. In the 1940's the land was used by a major scrap iron dealer and oil tank farm.
In 1969 the Fair Haven Renewal Plan designated the land for open space to be made into a park. In 1985 construction of the park was delayed when toxic materials were found in the soil. This material was removed and replaced with fill. Today the park appears to be totally revived which makes it an excellent location for our first site. It
provides us with a tidal river for sampling. This will be a great location for testing in the contaminated area (Tucker. 1994.).
Site Two: John P. Criscuolo Park (Quinnipiac Park)
John P. Criscuolo Park is located at the tip of the Fair Haven peninsula. After World War II Quonset huts were placed in the park for the use of veterans and their families. Once torn down the park was used for recreation. Over the years the park deteriorated into a barren wasteland with the smell of the heavily polluted Mill River and nor greenery to relieve it (Tucker. 1994.).
Site Three: Long Warf Park
Long Warf Park is a narrow strip of land on the west side of New Haven harbor. It runs parallel to I-95. At the southern most point lies the Long Warf Nature Preserve. It has a tidal marsh, sandy beach and a rocky shore. It is an invertebrate and nutrient rich environment (Tucker. 1994.).
Site Four: Sandy Point
Sandy Point in West Haven is located in the outer harbor. During the 1800's Sandy Point was home to flourishing oyster beds. Oysters were taken from the Chesapeake Bay and transplanted along the site. Today the only signs of oysters on the beach are the signs, which read that oyster beds are contaminated and that shellfishing is prohibited. Today Sandy point is home to migrating Piping Plovers. Teachers should check to make sure this site is open to the public. There are times when the plovers are nesting and access is denied. It has a tidal marsh, tidal river, a sandy beach and an intertidal flat.