East Lyme’s native biodiversity improves the quality of our lives, and the Conservation of Natural Resources Commission is looking for ways to preserve this resource for today and the future.
The plants, animals and ecosystems we share our town with, affect us every day in ways we rarely have time to appreciate. From the fish that attract sportsmen to the microbes that keep our drinking water clean, we are indebted to our biodiversity.
Streams, bogs and marshes filter nutrients and pollutants from our drinking water, while also working to keep our clam and scallop estuaries healthy and productive. Marshes are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world and shelter many baby fish. There could be as many as 8 species of bats in town, and a single bat can eat 1,200 mosquitoes an hour. Bees and other harmless insects pollinate our flowers and crops on local farms, providing thousands of dollars in free work.
Our Nehantic Forest cleans and cools the air, while producing the oxygen we depend on with every breath. Such forests are one of our few useful tools for ameliorating global warming and sea-level rise. We treasure our views and open space from Grassy Hill to Niantic Bay to the sunsets on Pattagansett Marsh. We watch the spring warblers land after their flight across Long Island Sound, look for the rare saltmarsh sparrow and await the coming of the osprey, egrets and herons.
Watch for invasive plants that can quickly take over and kill native vegetation on your property and spread to neighboring properties. See the Common Invasive Plants and the Plant Invaders Talk Handout documents below for further reading about invasive and native plants.
The plants and animals contributing to the biodiversity of East Lyme have accumulated over millions of years. It is our most valuable resource, and is, “The key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”–E. O. Wilson
Find out more about East Lyme’s Conservation of Natural Resources Commission.