The Norwalk Islands

The Norwalk Islands


Norwalk Islands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Norwalk Islands are a chain of more than 25 islands amid partly submerged boulders, reefs and mudflats along a six-mile (10 km) stretch and mostly about a mile off the coast of Norwalk, Connecticut and southwest Westport, Connecticut, in Long Island Sound.

The islands are used for several different types of recreational activities, including camping, boating, kayaking, swimming, bird watching. Ownership of the islands varies, with about a half dozen held in private hands, some owned by the governments of Norwalk or Westport and some are part of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge.

Various laws protect the islands, including town ordinances, the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, and the Endangered Species Act. On a clear day, Manhattan’s skyscrapers are visible.

Geologists generally consider the islands to be terminal moraines—material left by glaciers—deposited about 17,500 years ago as the ice cap paused in its retreat northward. Above water, the moraines are characterized by various rocks, gravel, sand, silt and clay, sometimes sorted out by waves.[2] The Captain islands in Greenwich to the west are part of the same moraine (but not the Fish islands in Darien), and submerged parts of the same moraine are located between the Norwalk Islands and Charles Island, off of Milford, to the east. (That island is probably part of the Hammonasset-Ledyard Moraine.)

Some historians have speculated that rocks from the islands were used as ballast for sailing ships returning to New York, where the rocks may have been used for cobblestones.