New London Maritime Society Bids on Little Gull Island

Oct 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Long Island Sound, Water

Save the Sound assists in securing funds for bid   

NEW LONDON, CTToday, the New London Maritime Society placed a $100,000 bid with the U.S. General Services Administration to buy Little Gull Island in eastern Long Island Sound. Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, worked with the New London Maritime Society over the past several weeks to secure funding for the bid from several organizations including the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, New London Community Foundation, and several other anonymous donors.

Little Gull Island, 1996 photo by Robert J. Beyus (nps.gov/maritime/light/gullisl.htm_Little Gull Island is approximately one-acre in size and is located approximately 12 miles from New London and seven miles from New York. It is one of three islands that make up the Plum-Gull Islands Complex, a Long Island Sound Stewardship Site as recognized by the Long Island Sound Study.  According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Little Gull Island has excellent potential to support nesting seabirds in the future given its proximity to Great Gull Island, home to the largest federally endangered roseate tern colony in North America.  Little Gull Island is in a critical foraging area for roseate and least terns; the management and protection of this island will contribute toward the larger island protection effort in this part of Long Island Sound.

In addition to the important wildlife habitat, Little Gull Island is home to a historic lighthouse, established in 1806, that also needs preservation. Despite its importance, GSA is going to auction off the island in the next few days. If today’s bid is accepted, the New London Maritime Society will manage the preservation of the lighthouse and will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to potentially manage the wildlife property.

The public auction closes on Wednesday, but bidding among registered bidders may continue for several more days. The New London Maritime Society has set up an online fundraising campaign for others interested in donating to the bid for Little Gull Island.

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