$31 million in federal funding to clean up and restore Long Island Sound


Efforts to clean up and restore Long Island Sound by rebuilding salt marshes, installing modern septic systems and testing water quality have received a $31 million boost from the federal government.

The funds, part of a $1.5 trillion federal spending plan signed into law in March by President Joe Biden, are expected to accelerate ongoing efforts at the federally funded Long Island Sound Futures Fund, which manages more than 500 projects aimed at revitalizing Sound.

These projects have since 2005 built or restored 115 miles of river for fish passage, treated 201 million gallons of polluted stormwater, and rebuilt 805 acres of fish and wildlife habitat and open space in New York City. and in Connecticut, according to the fund’s website. The fund also offers public education programs.

On Long Island, Sound restoration projects include planting new greenery to stem stormwater runoff, restoring salt marshes at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, North Shore Oyster Plantations and programs to remove abandoned lobster traps, monitor water quality, and help homeowners install new septic systems. systems.

The result is a marked improvement in water quality on the Sound, which had suffered from decades of nitrogen caused by the pumping of raw sewage into bays and streams, Mark A. Tedesco, office manager of Long Island Sound from the US Environmental Protection Agency, says Newsday.

“We have reduced the amount of nitrogen entering Long Island Sound by almost 50 million pounds per year,” he said. “It’s a demonstration of improved water quality. People say the water is a bit cleaner and clearer.

The EPA works with local municipalities and community groups on restoration projects through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund and the fund’s parent company, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The funding bill received the support of the entire Long Island delegation in the House of Representatives and senses. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.)

The bill also included $1 million each for renovations to North Hempstead Beach Park and the Nancy Court Pumphouse in Glen Cove, and $300,000 for shell seeding in Hempstead Harbour, Oyster Bay and Huntington Harbor.

“will go a long way toward restoring and improving Long Island Sound for generations to come.”

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the Sound is noticeably cleaner as new filtering systems have removed pollutants that had killed fish and wildlife.

“The dead zones in the strait are shrinking,” she said. “We harvest shells where we didn’t before.”

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