Kevin visits the submarine capital of the world - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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20 Towns in Twenty Days

Kevin visits the submarine capital of the world

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Kevin Hogan headed to Groton for 20 Towns in Twenty Days (WFSB) Kevin Hogan headed to Groton for 20 Towns in Twenty Days (WFSB)
GROTON, CT (WFSB) -

Nestled between the Thames River to the west, the Mystic River to the east, and fronting Long Island Sound, Groton has a long maritime history.

While known as the submarine capital of the world, Groton’s connection to the sea is centuries old, and the Marine Science Magnet High School introduces future generations to the marvels of the sea.

Surrounded by water, Groton’s founders were sailors and farmers.

Shipbuilding was a huge industry along the banks of the Mystic River before whaling drove the economy.

Today, Electric Boat is the big employer, building submarines.

A navy base since 1872, Groton is known as the submarine capital of the world.

It’s a home port to 16 submarines and the first nuclear-powered sub, the Nautilus, which now part of the Submarine Force Library and Museum.

Inside, visitors can learn about the first submarine built in Connecticut and what life is like on board. It’s free for all to visit.

“It’s also good for them to learn what submarines are you know, the whole idea of people protecting them is important as well,” said Katherine Flanders from Dalton, MA.

Towering over the banks of the Thames River is the monument to those who fought for our freedom during the Revolutionary War and Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park.

One of Groton’s best-kept secrets is Bluff Point.

It’s a treasure with 806 acres. An undeveloped natural preserve with a barrier beach, steep cliffs and miles of hiking, biking and horse riding trails.

Its neighbors Groton-New London Airport to the west and the quaint seaside village of Noank.

Just north in the village of Mystic, you’ll find dozens of shops and restaurants including Mystic Pizza!

Speaking of food, you can get fresh made pasta at Paul’s Pasta, now celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

“We have a good product for first you know we make our own pasta here at the restaurant but we are near the sub base,” said Paul Fidrych, founder of Paul’s Pasta.

If you like fish you may not know that the nearby Marine Science Magnet School grows and sells fish to local establishments.  

This unique high school challenges its 271 students from 32 regional towns to learn.

“We really teach students how to be stewards of the ocean but also how to be great people.  So, we really go deep into that as well,” said Dr. Michael Spera, principal of Marine Science High School.

In the lab, the students are even learning about hydroponics.  They have the perfect light conditions and the perfect soil.

They collect the nutrient rich waste from fish droppings and pump the watered fertilizer into gravel beds.

“Our students take the most science classes of any science high school in Connecticut.  But only 8% want to go into marine science,” said Spera.

Spera says with a science foundation his students can do anything and go anywhere.

Channel 3 is presenting a check to Spera. That money that will go into the principal’s fund, which is a fund established in 2013 to provide financial support for students and families in need as well as a means to recognize student achievements and milestones.

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