The Niantic River is a mainly tidal river in eastern Connecticut. It is crossed by the Niantic River Bridge carrying Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, as well as highway bridges carrying Connecticut Route 156 and US-1. It separates the towns of East Lyme and Waterford. The river is 5.2 miles (8.4 km) long.
There are many other water features that drain out into the Niantic River such as Oil Mill Brook and Stony Brook. The Niantic River itself, empties out into the Long Island Sound.
About 12,000 years ago there were humans that lived along the river way before any European settler came. These people were known as the Western Nehantics. They survived on the river's bounty of shellfish, fish, and other marine life. One of the rivers most well known shellfish, the scallop, is now in decline. The river also has a variety of birds such as bald eagles, osprey, egrets, herons, and cormorants. Some fish that are good to catch in the river are flounder, hickory shad, and striped bass. The Niantic River is becoming more and more polluted each day. As a result of this, some new species like green crabs and grubby, which are more tolerant of polluted waters, have started to appear in the river. Additionally, the Niantic River has a large difference between high tide in the river and low tide. At some points in the river, at low tide the water goes down to below sea level.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
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