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Connecticut Blue Heritage Trail launches with signs in Groton, New London, Waterford

Eight new signs in Groton, New London and Waterford point out sites important to Connecticut’s marine environment and maritime economy and culture.

The signs, which mark the first phase of the Blue Heritage Trail, are located at Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve, Fort Trumbull State Park, Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Harkness Memorial State Park, Naval Submarine Base New London, New London Waterfront, Ocean Beach Park, and the University of Connecticut Avery Point campus, according to a news release.

“Connecticut’s maritime heritage, which is based on a productive and richly diverse marine environment, is long and varied,” the release states. “It encompasses an historical trajectory that begins with the relationship of Native peoples to the marine environment and includes the development of a robust maritime economy, significant cultural practices and meanings, recreational opportunities, and military activities. Public awareness and appreciation of this heritage is critical to develop a more complete understanding of the value of the marine environment and maritime heritage of the United States as a whole.”

UConn Maritime Studies faculty and students, with help from the Blue Heritage Trail Advisory Committee, developed the initiatives, and the signs were supported by National Park Service Maritime Heritage Grant funding, the release states. Project partners include the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Connecticut Sea Grant, Connecticut State Parks, Thames River Heritage Park, and UConn Avery Point.

The plan for the trail includes a series of walking, driving and boat tours, found on the IZI travel app, informational signs, and an interactive website.

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