Tour Westport’s Treasure Island

August 10th, 2013

11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Saturday, August 10, 11:00 am-1:30 pm
$20, per boat  Members: $18  per boat, Raindate: August 11
Meet at: Longshore Sailing School, Longshore Park, Westport
Kayak rentals available from Longshore Sailing School, Call  203-226-4646


Tour Westport’s Treasure Island

Cockenoe is a small but environmentally important island, and on Saturday, August 10, you can visit it with the Westport Historical Society and learn about the migratory birds that nest there. You’ll also learn about the ecological benefit to Long Island Sound of maintaining clean watersheds.

There’s even an aerobic benefit. You’ll travel the one-mile over open water under your own power – via kayak. The 2 ½-hour trek will be led by David Park, an environmentalist with the Norwalk River Watershed Association and author of the guidebook “Kayaking in and Around the Norwalk Islands.

According to Park, this town-owned, 28-acre spit of rock, brush and sand sitting off Saugatuck Shores “is the most successful of the Norwalk Islands as far as migratory nesting birds are concerned.”

During nesting season, it is home to colonies of graceful herons and egrets and quick-footed terns thanks to thick underbrush, which provides protection against such predators as raccoons and deer. Park’s commentary will include Cockenoe’s history, which no doubt would be very different had not Westport purchased the privately owned island back in 1967 when the United Illuminating Company wanted to acquire it for a nuclear power plant. Today, the island’s natural harbor and camp sites make it popular with area boaters. Park, who advocates for protecting watersheds, will also discuss the role clean rivers play in keeping Cockenoe a resource for birds and human visitors alike. As you walk the island with Park you’ll hear his views on nitrogen-based lawn fertilizers, which wash into rivers when it rains and combine with warm water to deplete oxygen levels.

Meet at Longshore Sailing School. The trip departs from Longshore Park at 11 a.m. and returns at 1:30 p.m. Cost is $18 per boat for WHS members, $20 for non-members. Rain date is August 11. Kayak rentals are available from Longshore Sailing School. Call (203) 226-4646. For tour reservations, call (203) 222-1424.

Intermediate level kayak ability is required.

Copies of “Kayaking in and around the Norwalk Islands” are available for $10 at the WHS Remarkable Gift Shop, 25 Avery Place in downtown Westport.