If you’re like most Westporters, you’ve sat at Compo Beach. You’ve admired the water. You’ve gazed at the sky. You’ve looked out at Long Island, at Norwalk, at Owenoke. And you’ve wondered — to yourself, or out loud — “What’s up with that island out there?”
“That island” is Cockenoe. Pronounced “Kuh-KEE-nee,” it’s relatively small: just 28 acres. But it’s got a great history — in 1968, the town of Westport bought it, snatching it from United Illuminating (all the utility wanted to do was build a nuclear power plant there). Environmentally it’s important too.
And if you’ve never been out there — now’s your chance.
On Saturday, August 10, the Westport Historical Society is sponsoring a visit. You’ll learn a lot, about the migratory birds like herons, egrets and terns that nest there, and the ecological benefit to Long Island Sound of maintaining clean watersheds. The 2 ½-hour trip is led by David Park, an environmentalist with the Norwalk River Watershed Association and author of the guidebook “Kayaking in and Around the Norwalk Islands.”
You’ll benefit physically, too. You’ll get there under your own power — by kayak.
Don’t worry — the water will be warm.
Though nowhere near as warm as it would have been if there was a nuclear power plant on Cockenoe.
The trip leaves from Longshore Sailing School at 11 a.m., and returns at 1:30 p.m. Cost is $18 per boat for WHS members, $20 for non-members. Kayak rentals are available from Longshore Sailing School; call 203-226-4646. For tour reservations, call 203-222-1424.