North Hempstead, NY - May 12, 2015 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to approve the Town of North Hempstead’s grant application for $57,500 for tidal wetland restoration in Hempstead Harbor, Port Washington from the 2015 Long Island Sound Futures Fund. The revitalization of Hempstead Harbor is imperative to strengthening the shoreline and protecting the surrounding community of North Hempstead.
Schumer urged the NFWF to swiftly approve this $57,500 grant application, which will support the greater mission of the Long Island Sound Study. By focusing on the preservation of water quality in the Long Island Sound through community-based cleanup projects and water quality monitoring, the beginning of significant improvement in the overall health of the Island Sound has emerged. Originally formed in 1985 as a collaboration between federal and state agencies, there are now several areas identified where improvement is necessary. The ultimate goal is to restore the harbor to reduce pollutants by trapping and filtering storm water runoff.
“This is a great plan to further clean-up Hempstead Harbor and the surrounding areas for the better enjoyment of the residents, nature and wildlife, which is why the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation should promptly approve this grant application and provide North Hempstead with the funding needed to strengthen Hempstead Harbor,” said Schumer.
Hempstead Harbor consists of the adjacent areas of Hempstead Harbor Park, Morgan Memorial Park, Tappen Beach, and Sands Point Preserve. In the late 1800’s these areas were used for gravel mining. The impacts of mining continue to shape the ecological makeup of the Harbor. While ongoing restoration efforts to enhance water quality and revive wetlands exist, federal support is necessary to reach both local needs and the goals of the Long Island Sound Study. Hempstead Harbor provides the local community with approximately 34 acres of sandy beach. Conducive to the numerous choices for recreation along its shores, the harbor is entrenched in the livelihoods and day-to-day life of community residents.
“We need speedy approval from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in order to continue the process of restoring the sound for ourselves and the future of Long Island,” said the Senator.