BLT ANNUAL MEETING: Learn about the Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve

Have you heard about the Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve? One of 30 Research Reserves around the country, the CT NERR protects more than 52,000 acres along Long Island Sound, the Thames and Connecticut Rivers, and in state parks and natural area preserves. Come find out much more during the Branford Land Trust’s 2024 Annual Meeting on Monday, May 13 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Blackstone Memorial Library. There will be a brief meeting including the election of incoming directors, followed by a presentation about the Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve with its manager Kevin O’Brien.

The CT NERR was designated in 2022 and includes a wide diversity of coastal resources, from cold-water corals and coastal forests, to areas recognized as “wetlands of international importance,” all of which support extraordinary assemblages of natural and undisturbed plant and animal communities. It is one of 30 Research Reserves in the country that are focused on research, education, and stewardship of estuarine ecosystems. The Reserve provides essential habitat for wildlife, offers educational opportunities for students, teachers and the public, and serves as a living laboratory for scientists. In partnership with NOAA, UCONN, and CT DEEP, its vision is to have a resilient, healthy Long Island Sound estuary and watershed where human and natural communities thrive.

Kevin O’Brien is the manager of the CT NERR, working with a staff responsible for a variety of projects that target collaborative, place-based approaches to delivering environmental monitoring, science, education/training, and stewardship that address issues of habitat sustainability, climate impacts, and water quality in southeastern Connecticut.

Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Lafayette College and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs & Policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. He was a NOAA Coastal Services Center Coastal Management Fellow from 1999-2001, and prior to leading the CT NERR, he spent over 20 years within the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Land and Water Resource Division, working on state and regional programs focused on coastal resource management.

The Branford Land Trust Winter 2024 Speaker Series was made possible by a grant from the Branford Community Foundation and Guilford Savings Bank. This final event is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Blackstone Library (758 Main St, Branford), followed by light snacks and conversation. For more information, please visit