When the Long Island Sound is in trouble it’s an issue for both New York State and Connecticut. Due to this New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, worked with Senators from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal and Charles Murphy, and announced Wednesday that the Omnibus Appropriations Bill will be passing through congress. The bill provides $3.9 million in federal funding for Long Island Sound restoration programs. This is $1 million more than the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request, and $200,000 more than last year’s funding.
“Preserving and improving the Sound is a main priority for all Long Islanders, which is why I pushed hard to increase federal funding for this New York gem,” said Senator Schumer. “This additional $1 million bolsters efforts to make the Sound a safe and clean place for all New Yorkers to boat, fish and recreate for generations to come.”
Federal funding for restoration and stewardship programs to protect the sound ended in 2011 and since then, the Senators aggressively pushed to bring programs back. The Long Island Sound Stewardship Act, a bill passed in 2006, will now provide $325 million in funding for the next five years. It focuses on climate change adaption, sea level rise, and resource management.
“These funds will help to meet an important national obligation—protecting the Long Island Sound,” said Senator Blumenthal. “More than merely a source of natural beauty, Long Island Sound is home to a rich and diverse array of wildlife, and the foundation for hundreds of jobs in the tourism, shellfish, manufacturing, and maritime industries. Water quality and shore restoration investments are vital to preserve and protect the Sound’s scenic splendor and economic vitality for future generations.”
One of the first efforts to clean the Long Island Sound came in 1985. That year the EPA, the State of New York, and Connecticut, created the Long Island Sound Study. The LISS made efforts to address issues of low oxygen and levels of nitrogen that depleted fish and shellfish populations. Five years later the Long Island Sound Improvement Act passed and this provided more money for cleanup. The last effort to clean the Sound before the Omnibus Appropriations Bill was in 2006 when Congress orginally passed the Stewardship Act.
[Source: Senator Charles Schumer]