Long Island Sound

From Academic Kids

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Long Island Sound near Guilford, Connecticut

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 to the south. 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 110 miles (177 km) long and 21 miles (34 km) wide at its widest point. It has an average depth of 78 feet (24 m), with the deepest point being 300 feet (91 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.

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

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 New York City (the Bronx borough).

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 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.

Many attempts have been made 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, New York on Long Island and from Orient Point, New York to Rhode Island.

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] (http://www.epa.gov/ecoplaces/part2/region2/site15.html)

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