The Thames River and Long Island Sound in southeastern Connecticut have created numerous business opportunities in “Blue Tech”
Peter Legnos, President & CEO
Numerous businesses in southeastern Connecticut are centered around the Thames River and Long Island Sound. The deep water port in New London and other marine resources have helped sustain “Blue Tech” industries such as submarine production, offshore wind energy, aquaculture, and oceanographic research.
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Southeastern Connecticut’s Blue Tech sectors include:
General Dynamics Electric Boat is a major employer in the region, designing and building nuclear submarines for the U.S. Navy. EB constructs Virginia class attack submarines and is the prime contractor for the new Columbia class of ballistic submarines.
State Pier in New London is currently in the early stages of being transformed into an offshore wind energy hub. With the Danish wind energy company Orsted and state utility Eversource as partners, the pier will be a staging area for the pre-assembly of wind turbine generators and the transportation of turbine components to offshore wind farms.
Marine construction companies such as Mohawk Northeast complete water-based building projects such as cofferdams, breakwaters, and dredging. The region also supports shipyards for marine maintenance and repair.
Connecticut is a leading producer of oysters and clams, and aquaculture is a growing sector of the economy in the southeastern part of the state. In addition to traditional shellfish farms, species such as kelp and bay scallops are being studied for commercial viability.
Although the region’s commercial fishing industry has declined in recent years, it continues to play an important part of the local economy. Boats bring in fish, lobsters, scallops, and other seafood, destined for both the market and local clam shacks.
In addition to research conducted at Electric Boat and Naval Submarine Base New London, numerous small businesses are involved in researching and manufacturing components for submarines and other Navy vessels. Other research firms on the Thames River include the Connecticut Sea Grant, National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technology, and Coast Guard Research and Development Center. The region is also home to surveying companies that scrutinize what’s beneath the waves, offering services ranging from archaeological research to structure inspection.
New London is a terminus for three ferry lines and has a deep water port that can support shipping operations and cruise ships. The coastal community also supports a number of recreational boating operations, from fishing charters to marinas, along with state parks that preserve the region’s history and natural beauty.
The southeastern Connecticut region boasts a rich history, and visitors can see numerous museums and cultural attractions along the coast. These include two Revolutionary War-era forts, Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic Aquarium, and the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus.