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Mapping out the bottom of the Long Island Sound

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NEW LONDON--State-of-the-art sonar equipment is giving us a better picture of the Long Island Sound--the bottom of it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admitinstration's ship named Nancy Foster has been scanning the ocean floor to generate an unprecedented image of the terrain.

It's been done in three legs. The second leg just finished up with the discovery of a sunken tug boat off Stamford.

NOAA's underwater mapping will help the state distinguish safer shipping and boating lanes, as well as help protect habitats.

"When you're doing anything on land, for example, if you have a good map, if you know what's there, then you can make informed decisions," said Dr. Russell Callender, acting director of NOAA Ocean Services.  "It's the same thing in the water."

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee agrees. "So many different people use the Sound as a working water body, we'll just make sure all those uses fit well together," Klee said.

NOAA expects to begin the third and final mapping leg Tuesday, and finish up the following Monday.

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