Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH), a Stonington, CT-based non-profit organization with a mission to clean up and protect Fishers Island Sound and its coves, inlets, bays, rivers and harbors, has a number of volunteer opportunities. These include:

Dr. Claire Gavin chairs the all-important Water Committee at CUSH

Dr. Claire Gavin chairs the all-important Water Committee at CUSH.   ©

  • Oyster shell collection from local restaurants: Research viability of collecting shells for possible introduction into local estuaries to create new bottom structure for aquaculture or wild set oysters
  • Oyster gardening: Research viability for growers to set oysters under docks and other private facilities for maturation
  • Harvest caldophora for processing as fertilizer: Gather algae and analyze properties to ascertain viability as an organic fertilizer
  • Assess current state of wastewater treatment in Stonington:

Understand current status and how it relates to state of the art. Work with Town to encourage continued upgrades and further investment in modernization

  • Investigate best practice for residential septic management and compare to current town policy: Encourage more active management of residential septic systems and develop plans to encourage upgrades or work toward elimination
  • Develop more outreach/training programs for sound friendly lawn, and garden management: Provide further educational/training opportunities for local residents
  • Ground to Sound signage and education: Install “Ground to Sound” signage at storm drains and other areas where ground water runs into embayments
  • Natural turf management: Work with Board of Education and Town of Stonington to rollout “Natural Management” practices more broadly on municipal properties
  • Coastal and community clean up: Work to encourage more people and programs to remove rubbish from streets and neighborhoods to prevent it from getting into local waters
  • Water monitoring and sampling: CUSH is looking for a volunteer with a powerboat to take two team members for sampling sites in the Mystic River.

“We are also actively seeking board members who have an interest in membership development, marketing/social media, volunteer management and outreach activities,” said CUSH President Chris Freeman. “If you have a strong interest in working to preserve and promote water quality as a vital contributor to our quality of life, please let us know.” If you’re ready to take action, contact CUSH at or, or log onto