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Coastal property acquired for conservation

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Avalonia Land Conservancy announced that they jointly acquired a 16-acre parcel of coastal grassland on Wequetequock Cove in Stonington.

The acquisition expands what is now a 2.4-mile corridor of 1,000 contiguous protected open space extending from the Pawcatuck River on the Rhode Island border to Wequetequock Cove adjacent to the State of Connecticut’s Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, Connecticut’s largest and most ecologically significant coastal wildlife management area.

“The land we are protecting today provides a stunningly beautiful visual gateway to visitors to Barn Island Wildlife Management Area protecting unique and sensitive areas,” said DEEP commissioner Daniel C. Esty.

The property was acquired from the Crowley family whose land has 1,000 feet of frontage on one of Connecticut’s least-developed coves still largely in private ownership. The land abuts 48-acres of salt marsh, wetlands, and coastal forest that was acquired from the Crowley family and added to Barn Island WMA in 2009.

The $1,512,500 purchase price of the property was largely funded by a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service Grassland Reserve Program. Contributions also came from an additional eight partners.