Great Meadows Marsh

The Great Meadows salt marsh is connected to the "back-side" of Long Beach by Lewis Gut, a body of water fed from several freshwater creeks and the waters of Long Island Sound through Bridgeport Harbor. The barrier beach protects the Lewis Gut abayment from the wave action associated with Long Island Sound and has long been used as a seed area by local shellfishermen. The Gut was connected to the Housatonic River by Neck Creek until the 20th century.

The Great Meadows is an extensive tidal marsh ecosystem behind and protected by Long Beach. Though it once occupied a much larger area, the Great Meadows still provides critical habitat for a diversity of fish and wildlife species. Approximately 270 species of birds can be seen at different times of the year. The area was once described by Roger Tory Peterson as one of the best coastal bird habitats in the United States.

Historically, Great Meadows totaled as much as five square miles in area, which helped it become a mecca for birdlife, which, until the 20th century, was more diverse than any Connecticut site. Although greatly reduced in size, it still offers remarkably diverse habitats and species. The area north and west of Lewis Gut contains the only unditched high marsh left in the state. It encourages transient shorebirds and waterfowl to breed and feed.

Great Meadows Marsh has been proposed as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Click here to read more about this exciting proposal.


Listing files in 'Great Meadows Marsh '

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Contact Information

McKinney Wildlife Refuge
Long Beach Boulevard
Stratford, CT 06614