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News Notes – Long Island Sound

Report says Sound’s health varies by region

A July report on Long Island Sound by the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) details how the health of the Sound varies widely, with conditions improving from the western Sound to the eastern Sound.

“Sound Health 2008: Status and Trends in the Health of Long Island Sound” describes conditions basin-by-basin and tracks trends in hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen levels), the populations of finfish and shellfish, the amount of natural habitats, and the impact of development in the watershed. The report also has a special section on climate change.

Among the major findings in the report: PCB concentrations in striped bass in the Sound have declined; populations of striped bass have rebounded; toxic contaminants lodged in the sediments of the Sound still pose a threat; and hypoxia is a concern, but mainly in the western Sound.

To receive a free copy of Sound Health 2008, call the EPA Long Island Sound Office at (203) 977-1541 in Connecticut or (631) 632-9216 in New York or download it at

Norwalk International In-Water show returns

The 33rd Norwalk International In-Water Boat Show runs Sept. 18-21 at the Norwalk Cove Marina in East Norwalk, Conn.

More than 700 boats and marine accessories create a showcase for boaters, fishermen and those looking to get started in boating. Attendees can also learn the art of fly casting, compete in the Powerboat Docking Challenge, take part in free boating and fishing seminars and test-drive powerboats and sailboats.

Show e-tickets are now available at Adults are $15; youth (13-15) are $8; and children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Classic sails will fill in New YorkHarbor

The New York Harbor Sailing Foundation and the North Cove Marina will host the second annual New York Classic Week Sept. 30-Oct. 5, honoring traditions, camaraderie and passion for classic yacht competition.

Participating yachts will share the race course with tankers, ferries, high-speed sightseeing boat, cruise ships, kayakers and a vigorous current.

The regatta will feature the Concours d’Elegance, a competition judging the style, elegance and beauty of each yacht, the Skyline Race and the Lady Liberty Race. Anticipated returning boats are Black Watch, the W-Class yachts Wild Horses and White Wings, Shearwater, and the tall ship Pride of Baltimore II. Several 12-meters are also expected to join the starting line with the Manhattan Yacht Club syndicate’s historic 12-meter America II.

For information and to register, contact Amy Johnstone at Manhattan Sailing Club at (212) 786-3323 or

Two boaters die in Conn. collision

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection on July 20 released the names of the people who were involved in the boating accident at CandlewoodLake, New Milford/

Brookfield, including the names of two people who died.

Two occupants of the 24-foot Formula died in the accident: Richard Layton, 32, of New Milford; and Jason Wanat, 28, of West Redding. A third occupant, Kevin Sullivan, 30, of Bridgewater, sustained injuries and was taken to DanburyHospital. The state has yet to determine the operator of the vessel at the time of the accident.

The operator of the 18-foot Triton, William F. Daddio, 60, of Mahopac, N.Y., was injured and taken to a nearby hospital. A passenger, Michael Iannucci, 35, of Cortlandt-Manor, N.Y., sustained minor injuries.

At approximately 1:15 a.m. July 19, two boats collided on CandlewoodLake, near the Brookfield/New Milford town line, injuring five people — two fatally. The accident remains under investigation by the DEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police.

Ambrose Light will be deconstructed

The deconstruction of Ambrose Light, situated about eight miles off the coast of Sandy Hook, N.J., in Ambrose Channel, was scheduled to begin in July, following extensive talks between the Coast Guard and local stakeholders.

“It was determined that Ambrose Light is not absolutely necessary to perform safe navigation through Ambrose Channel,” says Chief Warrant Officer Darren Pauly, a Coast Guard Sector New York Aids to Navigation officer. “Instead, several navigational aids will be added, and Ambrose Channel will be extended to create a wider, more navigable channel for larger commercial vessels.”

The light’s legs, stanchion, rotating light and anchorage were severely damaged following a collision with the commercial vessel Axel Spirit, a 799-foot tanker home-ported in Nassau, Bahamas, in November 2007, the third since 1996.

“That is the main reason it is being replaced. It is not cost-effective to rebuild the Light every time it is struck. With our improvements to the channel and newer Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology, the optics on large buoys provide the same purpose and are easier to maintain,” says Pauly.

The demolition comes almost 41 years after Ambrose Light was established.

Wooden boat wizard remembered for skills

Michael Kortchmar, 64, of Southold, N.Y., died in July at PeconicBayMedicalCenter. A Swarthmore graduate, Kortchmar was a builder and restorer of wooden boats. His technical knowledge and practical problem-solving skills of all kinds greatly contributed to the maritime communities of North Fork and New York City. He was the longtime captain of the schooner Pioneer in New YorkHarbor and a seasoned trans-Atlantic sailor.

He was a member of the Recorder Orchestra of New York, an accomplished teacher, a filmmaker, and a lover of words who routinely completed the diagramless and double-crostic puzzles in The New York Times.

He and his family moved in 1989 from New York City to the North Fork, where he ran his boatbuilding shop in Greenport’s StirlingHarbor.

He is survived by his wife, Ellen Wiener, two children and a brother. A memorial service was held in August at Founder’s Landing Wharf House in Southold.

NianticRiver marina earns ‘clean’ distinction

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection recently recognized Three Belles Marina on Smith Cove off the NianticRiver in East Lyme as the 11th recreational boating facility in Connecticut to be certified as a “Connecticut Clean Marina.” This certification acknowledges the facility’s efforts to go beyond regulatory compliance and participate in voluntary measures to keep Connecticut waters clean.

Three Belles Marina is a commercial marina/boatyard with slips and moorings for lease to recreational boaters. “The ‘Clean Marina’ certification demonstrates our commitment to protect our most precious resource, Smith Cove and Long Island Sound, for the enjoyment of our customers and for future generations of boaters” says Tobey Russ, owner of Three Belles Marina.

To become certified as a Connecticut Clean Marina, marina operators must illustrate voluntary operation at standards above and beyond compliance in seven categories: mechanical activities, painting and fiberglass repair, hauling and storing boats, fueling, facility management, emergency planning, and boater education. Certified Clean Marinas are authorized to fly a Clean Marina flag and to use the Clean Marina logo on their publications and letterhead. DEP will also promote certified Clean Marinas through the Clean Marina Program public outreach efforts.

Three Belles Marina joins Saybrook Point Inn, Marina, and Spa in Old Saybrook; Harry’s Marine Repair in Westbrook; Shennecossett Yacht Club in Groton; Dodson Boatyard in Stonington; Milford Landing Marina; Guilford Town Marina; Noank Village Boatyard; Gwenmor Marina in Mystic; Connors & O’Brien Marina in Pawcatuck; and Mystic Shipyard West as the first 11 Connecticut certified Clean Marinas. To date, 30 other facilities have pledged to become certified Clean Marinas within one year:

For information, contact Rick Huntley, Clean Marina Program Coordinator at (860) 424-3609 or e-mail .

Conn. trade group awards marine scholarships

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association awarded several scholarships to those who want to pursue a career in the marine industry.

Scholarships were granted to Jennifer Rich, of Westbrook, who will be attending Southern Connecticut State University, and Joseph William Petit, of Ledyard, who is enrolled at EndicottCollege.

“CMTA believes this will assure a strong and profitable recreational boating industry by encouraging Connecticut’s youths to improve their professional skills and knowledge in the marine industry,” executive director Grant Westerson said in a statement.

For information on CMTA scholarships, visit .

Hospital ship named Hope to be honored

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the hospital ship SS Hope, when the Navy turned over their hospital ship, the USS Constellation, to the newly formed Project Hope, the MaritimeIndustryMuseum is establishing a permanent exhibit to honor the ship, its doctors, nurses and crew.

Hope served as a hospital ship, traveling to ports in developing countries around the world, from 1960 until 1974, when she was retired. The ship was not replaced and Project Hope’s emphasis switched to land-based operations.

The exhibit committee of the museum’s board of directors, is spearheaded by board member, and former crewmember Capt. Art Sulzer, along with the museum’s curator Bill Sokol. Members of the maritime industry and the general public are invited to attend the opening of the exhibit at 9 a.m. Sept. 27 at the MaritimeIndustryMuseum on the campus of SUNY-MaritimeCollege in Bronx, N.Y.