Our mission is to build a passion in our community for nature and the environment through education, experience and action.

10 Woodside Lane Westport, CT 06880   203-557-4400 Earthplace Preschool: 203-557-3638

Purpose and History

The mission of Harbor Watch is to improve water quality and ecosystem health in Connecticut. Each day we strive to reach this goal through research in the lab and field, collaboration with our municipal partners, and education of students and the public. Harbor Watch addresses pollution threats to Long Island Sound and educates the next generation of scientists through hands-on research and experiential learning. As part of the larger organization of Earthplace, the work performed by Harbor Watch also supports the mission of Earthplace to build a passion in our community for nature and the environment through education, experience, and action.

Since its inception, Harbor Watch has trained over 1,000 high school students, college interns, and adult volunteers in the work of protecting and improving the biological integrity of Long Island Sound and has monitored over 250 sites for a variety of physical and biological parameters. See the map below to find out where we have worked, and where we are focusing our efforts now!

Below is an interactive map showing our results from the 2018 summer river monitoring season. By clicking a dot on the map you can view the results of the data we collected at each site. (Zoom in to see which site is closest to you!)

 
NOTE: Dots shown in shades of green had acceptable levels of bacteria, while sites shown in yellow, orange and red had elevated levels of bacteria, which may be indicative of a pollution problem. 

Below is an interactive map showing our results from the 2017 summer river monitoring season. By clicking a dot on the map you can view the results of the data we collected at each site. (Zoom in to see which site is closest to you!)

 
NOTE: Dots shown in shades of green had acceptable levels of bacteria, while sites shown in yellow, orange and red had elevated levels of bacteria, which may be indicative of a pollution problem. (The line labeled 2017 GEOMEAN represents the geomean of E. coli concentrations as CFU/100 mL)

Today – Inspiring water quality improvements and appreciation of aquatic and coastal resources throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut and beyond!

2018 - Published "Three Decades of Change in Demersal Fish and Water Quality in a Long Island Sound Embayment" in Estuaries and Coasts

2015 – Opened the "Harbor Watch Richard Harris Laboratory" at Earthplace (more than doubling the size of prior space)

2006 - U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary Flotilla 72 first partnered with Harbor Watch to monitor the water quality of Norwalk Harbor and Norwalk River (something they still do today)

1993 – Incorporated as a program of Earthplace (home to the first Harbor Watch laboratory)

1990 - Started summer fish study on the RV Annie in Norwalk Harbor 

1986 – Dick Harris founds Harbor Watch as a citizens’ volunteer water quality monitoring group.