October 17, 2017

Estuary Center Offers Guided Paddling Tour of Whalebone Cove This Morning

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is offering a guided paddling tour of Whalebone Cove this coming Saturday, Aug. 12.

Led by the Estuary Center’s aquatic ecologist Jim Arrigoni, the tour will explore the maze of channels in Whalebone Cove, one of the most placid and wildlife-filled habitats in the lower Connecticut River.

Whalebone Cove is a tidal, freshwater marsh that is habitat for foraging ospreys, egrets, herons, swans, and marsh wrens, as well as basking turtles and blooming lilies.

It has been described by The Nature Conservancy as “one of the least disturbed freshwater tidal marshes in all of New England.” Because Whalebone Cove has one of the largest stands of wild rice in New England, it is a favorite stop for many species of migratory ducks.

Enjoy the natural beauty of Whalebone Cove from the calm of your kayak.

With help from a crew of summer interns researching submerged aquatic vegetation and invasive species in the Cove, Arrigoni will point out wildlife and plants and explain their role in the Connecticut River estuary.

He will also address management challenges posed to the Cove by invasive species and unregulated recreation and development.

This paddling trip is part of the Estuary Center’s year-long Estuary Explorations program which seeks to connect biologists and other experts with the public to increase ecological knowledge of and appreciation for our land and waterscapes. The tour is being sponsored in conjunction with Friends of Whalebone Cove.

Kayaking is a great way to experience the wonder of Whalebone Cove.

The tour embarks from the boat launch next to the Hadlyme Ferry Landing on Rte. 148 (Ferry Rd., Lyme). Please have your canoe or kayak ready to go at 9 a.m.

This will be a relatively easy paddle. There will be a short leg down the main stem of the Connecticut River to the entrance to the Cove, hugging the eastern shoreline and paddling with a slack tide. The same route upstream on return will be with a rising tide astern. Tides in the Cove will be rising gently.

Life jackets are required. Binoculars, sun screen and insect repellent are recommended. After returning to the boat launch at noon, stay for a bag lunch (bring your own) and recap at the Gillette Castle State Park picnic area next to the Hadlyme Ferry Landing. Bag lunches can be purchased prior to launch at the Hadlyme Country Market at the intersection of Rte. 82 and Rte. 148 (Ferry Rd.) about a mile east of the Ferry Landing.

Rain date is Saturday, Aug. 19.

Fee Structure: $30 per adult;  $25 per student.  Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. For more info & registration: http://www.ctaudubon.org/2017/07/guided-ecology-paddle/#st

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