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    Stratford, Conn.

    Artificial reef aims to protect shore from storms

    An artificial reef is being planned in Long Island Sound off Stratford, Conn., in an effort to blunt big waves from major storms and protect wildlife habitats. Staff and volunteers with Sacred Heart University and the Connecticut Audubon Society intend to have the reef in place on 3.5 acres off Stratford Point next April, The Connecticut Post reports. It will include 40 concrete structures in four rows of 10 in an intertidal zone. A Sacred Heart team will collect data from the reef for a year to determine its success. Organizers hope it helps restore shoreline sand and tidal marsh grasses that support blue crabs, egrets and herons. The reef is being funded by a $59,000 grant from the Long Island Sound Futures program run by federal officials.