Compiled by Kathleen Foulke
How important is it to live and work near the waterfront?
Today when we think of being near streams, rivers and the shore
wonderful views and activities like swimming, fishing and boating
come to mind. But for most of Connecticuts history, its
waterways have been primarily a way to make a living. Close to
the sea, yet protected from many of its extremes, Connecticut
has access to the oceans and ports of the world through rivers,
harbors and the Long Island Sound. Native Americans used the areas
waterways for transportation and as a source of food and other
resources. From the seventeenth century on, immigrants built on
this legacy and the knowledge and skills they brought with them.
Connecticut men and women have developed local maritime industries
and businesses as well as those that connect the state and region
with the world through its waterways. Generations of workers in
the ship- and boatbuilding industries as well as in commercial
fishing, fish processing and transportation have adapted to changing
conditions and adopted new technologies. They have provided the
means for moving people and goods from place to place and harvesting
products from local and distant shores. Their enterprise and hard
work have been an essential ingredient in the growth of Connecticut
and of the nation.