Guilford Salt Meadows Sanctuary is located in Guilford, CT along the East River, a tidal river that drains into Long Island Sound. The tidal wetlands that form the heart of the Guilford Salt Meadows Sanctuary are a remnant of the great salt and brackish water marshes that once extended nearly continuously along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Georgia. These wetlands support specialized saltmarsh vegetation and animal life. They also provide vital refueling and nesting stops for thousands of migratory birds.
Guilford Salt Meadows Sanctuary provides critical habitat for increasingly rare saltmarsh dependent species including the Saltmarsh Sparrow, which due to its limited range is a species of global conservation concern. It is only found nesting in a thin strip of coastal salt marshes from Maine to North Carolina, and considering the scarcity of this habitat, its entire breeding range is smaller in area than all of Connecticut. The lower reaches of the Guilford salt marsh support one of the highest density populations of nesting Saltmarsh Sparrows found anywhere in the world.
The Sanctuary can be viewed from the Anne Conover Nature Education Trail, a one mile loop that is an easy walk for people of all ages.Â The sanctuary's nature trail is open to the public daily from dusk to dawn.