Connecticut Audbon Society

Hot days at the cool coast for New Haven campers

Feet in the cool water, kids from the Sound School Eco-Adventure Camp in New Haven search for creatures of the tidal area at the Milford Point Coastal Center.

August 8, 2022 — Seventy-five kids from New Haven day camps got a bracing taste of Long Island Sound’s wildness this summer at the Coastal Center at Milford Point.

The kids, who were enrolled in New Haven Eco-Adventure camps, each spent a couple of hot mornings feeling the cool breezes. They waded in the lapping waves and explored the marsh, learning about the plants and animals that live on the Sound’s shore.

The visits were a collaboration between the Connecticut Audubon Society and New Haven Youth and Recreation camps, whose director of outdoor adventures, Martin Torresquintero, is a member of the Connecticut Audubon Board of Directors. The Greater New Haven Green Fund sponsored the visits.

The campers were from the Trowbride Environmental Center at East Rock Park (ages 8-11), the Sound School on New Haven harbor (9-12) and the extreme camp at West Rock Park (12-15). Each made two visits, on different days.

“Even the teenagers were getting into it and having a good time,” one of the camp directors, Kate Reamer, joked.

It’s no wonder. Among the highlights were sessions with a seineing net on the Milford Point sandbar, where every haul revealed a writhing jumble of Sound life that visitors otherwise would not see. Puffer fish. Silversides. Pipefish. Asian shore crabs. Comb jellies. Lion’s mane jellies. Killifish.

The campers compared the differences between the Sound side of Milford Point and the marsh, where they found Asian shore crabs, mud snails and hermit crabs.

“Not all the kids had a whole lot of experience at the shore,” Kate said last week. “One boy in my group yesterday held a crab for the first time, a fiddler from the salt marsh.”

Campers dug along the edge of the sandbar. Among the animals they found were fiddler crabs and Asian shore crabs.

Catie Resor, an education program manager for Connecticut Audubon, ran the program, with help from Coastal Center Director Ken Elkins, teacher-naturalist Jenn Silberger, and councelors from each New Haven camp.

This was the second summer Connecticut Audubon collaborated with the New Haven recreation camps. The hope is to secure funding to expand the program, both at the Coastal Center and at the New Haven camps themselves.






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