HARTFORD, CT – Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. (D-Branford) today sent a letter (attached) to Margaret Thomas, the Connecticut State Geologist, asking for her assistance renaming a navigational buoy off the coast of Branford. The buoy and the geologic formation it marks have been identified on United States nautical maps as “Negro Heads” for roughly 100 years. As Connecticut’s representative on the State Geographic Names Board, Margaret Thomas is able to suggest a name change for this landmark.
“The name of this buoy and the corresponding land mass is antiquated and offensive to me and the citizens of Branford. I believe that this buoy name and other similarly-named landmarks should be changed,” said Senator Kennedy. “This kind of term has no place in our society, and I am eager to work alongside our State Geologist and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to have it removed from our state.”
The landmark in question is located just off the southeastern coast of Branford. This reef of rocks can be a hazard to boats traveling the nearby waters, and is marked with a lighted U.S. navigational buoy to warn of the hazard. The landmark is regularly used by people navigating their vessels around Branford.
The Connecticut State Geologist is Connecticut’s representative on the State Geographic Names Board (SGNB). The SGNB is responsible for submitting a new name to the United States Board of Geographic Names, which is the organization capable of officially changing the name on all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical charts and government maps.