Long Island Sound

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Long Island Sound is shown highlighted in pink between Connecticut (to the north) and Long Island (to the south)

Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean and various rivers in the United States. It lies between the coast of Connecticut to the north and Long Island, New York to the south. Many mansions along with wealthy neighborhoods characterize a good portion of the sound from the cityline of New York out to Setauket and Port Jefferson on Long Island; and from Greenwich to beyond Madison in Connecticut. The mouth of the Connecticut River at Old Saybrook, Connecticut empties into the sound. The property values in Connecticut and Long Island is among the highest in the nation, mostly due to the proximity to New York City and "the sound." Southwestern Connecticut is famed the "Gold Coast" because of the extremely affluent communities situated along the shore. On the extreme western end, it is bounded on the north side by Westchester County, New York and the Bronx, and connects to the East River. On its eastern end it is connected to Block Island Sound. The sound is considered by some to be the natural border between New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.

The Long Island Sound is an estuary, giving a muddy, dark look to the water, especially in the west. Average water temperature for Long Island Sound is around 34°F (1°C) in January; some of the shallow inlets freeze over during winter. In July the water temperature is typically around 65°F (19°C), and typically peaks around 75°F (24°C) in mid-August, which contributes to relatively mild summer temperatures for Long Island and coastal Connecticut.

The Sound is 110 miles (177 km) long and 21 miles (34 km) wide at its widest point. It has an average depth of 65 feet (20 m), with the deepest point being 150 feet (45 m). The volume of water in the Sound is 8 trillion US gallons (30 km³). Including all islands, the Long Island Sound has a shoreline of 548 miles (882 km).

The first European to record the existence of Long Island Sound was the Dutch navigator Adriaen Block, who entered the sound from the East River in 1614.

Several major cities are situated along the Long Island Sound, resulting in a total of more than 8 million people living within its watershed. Major Connecticut cities on the Sound include Bridgeport, New London, Stamford, Norwalk, and New Haven. New York cities on the Sound include Port Jefferson and New York City (the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx).

Ferries provide service between Long Island and Connecticut, notably between Port Jefferson, New York and Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Orient Point, New York and New London, Connecticut. Some of the ferries that cross the Long Island Sound carry automobiles, trucks, buses, as well as passengers.

Underwater cables transmit electricity under the Long Island Sound, most notably the controversial Cross-Sound Cable that runs from New Haven in western Connecticut, to Brookhaven in central Long Island. Scientists debate whether or not these cables are safe for the fragile Long Island Sound environment, especially the underwater lifeforms.

Broadwater Energy LLC, a joint venture between the Shell Oil Company and TransCanada Corporation, has proposed building a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal 11 miles from the Connecticut shore and 9 miles from Long Island. The installation is estimated to save the region in excess of $600 million a year in energy costs.

The terminal would regasify LNG offloaded from ships, and this gas would flow through pipelines under the sound to New York and Connecticut. Some politicians from both states, such as New York Senator Chuck Schumer are fiercely opposed to the terminal, claiming that alternative energy sources and conservation should be pursued instead of adding new distribution lines and supply sources. However, local Connecticut politicians have little influence since the terminal would be located entirely within waters that are part of New York state (although Connecticut senators and congressmen may be able to stop the platform at the federal level).

The Long Island Sound side differs from the Atlantic Ocean side of Long Island because the shorelines here are rocky. The Atlantic Ocean side remains sandy with no rocks. This is due to the formation of Long Island nearly 10,000 years ago as glaciers formed the fish-shaped island.

Over the years, there have been a number of ideas put forth to build a bridge over the sound, including a bridge from Rye, New York to Oyster Bay, New York, from New Haven, Connecticut to Shoreham, from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Port Jefferson, New York on Long Island, or from Orient Point, New York to Rhode Island. In addition, there are also thought to build a tunnel under the sound, such as a tunnel from Rye, New York to Oyster Bay, New York to carry both freeway lanes and railroads. However, none has been built yet.

Long Island Sound has historically had a rich fishery, but in recent years the western part of the sound has become increasingly deficient of marine life. The fishing and lobstering industries have encouraged efforts to identify the cause of the dead water and rectify the problem.

Major environmental problems currently affecting the Sound include hypoxia, toxic substance and pathogen contamination, debris and other man-made pollution, and overdevelopment.[1]

[edit] Trivia

  • On an episode of WWE RAW, Edge was thrown into Long Island Sound by John Cena

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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Long Island Sound

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