"Estuaries such as Long Island Sound are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. The Sound supports diverse marine life, including most of the fish and shellfish we value as food ..."

– Connecticut Sea Grant

Conservation & Research

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Long Island Sound Fun Fact

Long Island Sound is 113 miles long, 21 miles wide (at its widest) and holds about 18 trillion gallons of water. Its average depth is 63 feet – which is just a little deeper than the height of our IMAX screen! Can you fathom that?!

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Common Name: Forbes sea star

Latin Name: Asterias forbesi

Size/weight: Five or so inches in diameter

Range: Gulf of Maine to Texas

Habitat: Low tide line to depths of 160 feet; rock, gravel or sandy bottom.

Diet: Clams, scallops and oysters.  Stomach is everted into the prey animal, where it digests the tissue.

Predators:  Spider crabs and, occasionally, lobsters.

Description: Five arms radiating from a central core with an eye at the end of each arm, thousands of tiny tube feet, and a mouth on bottom.  Tough, almost spiny skin; color brownish red or orange.  The sea star is able to regenerate severed arms.

Conservation Note: Not listed as threatened or endangered.

See them in the Salt Marsh gallery and at the Intertidal Touch Tank »