Rep. Zeldin Announces $2.57 Million in Grants Awarded to Improve Health of Long Island Sound

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  05. December 2018

Port Jefferson, NY - December 5, 2018 - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) joined federal and state environmental officials from New York and New England to announce 36 grants totaling $2.57 million awarded to local governments and community groups to improve the health and vitality of the Long Island Sound.
The activities funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) show how projects led by local groups and communities make a big difference in improving water quality and restoring habitat around the Long Island Sound watershed. This grant program combines funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).
The LISFF 2018 grants will reach more than 1.7 million residents through environmental education programs and conservation projects. Water quality improvement projects will treat 1.9 million gallons of water and collect 37,000 pounds of floating trash. The projects will open up six miles of river and restore 18 acres of coastal habitat for fish and wildlife. The grants will be matched by $3.09 million from the grantees resulting in $5.67 million in funding for on-the-ground conservation projects in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.
The Long Island Sound Study initiated the LISFF in 2005 through EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. To date, the LISFF has invested $19.6 million in 416 projects. The program has generated an additional $36 million in grantee match, for a total conservation impact of $55.6 million for locally based projects. The projects have opened up 163 river miles for fish passage, restored 1,109 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat and open space, treated 204 million gallons of pollution, and educated and engaged 4.7 million people.
Earlier this year, Congressman Lee Zeldin secured a long-term reauthorization for the EPA’s Long Island Sound Program at $65 million per year for 5 years, which previously had not been reauthorized since 2006 at $25 million per year. Additionally, $26.7 million in funding was secured for the EPA’s National Estuary Program.
“As Co-Chairman of the Long Island Sound Caucus, I understand that the Long Island Sound is a regional and national treasure, as well as a critical economic, recreational and environmental resource,” said Congressman Lee Zeldin. “The $2.57 million investment in these 36 programs around the Long Island Sound Watershed will allow us to continue to improve the health and vitality of the Sound. These community projects will make a real difference in continuing our progress towards cleaning up Long Island Sound. The partnerships funded by today’s grants show our commitment to the health of the Sound and to ensuring that our children and grandchildren can enjoy it for generations to come.”
“I know all of us share great excitement with, and are energized by, the depth and breadth of community commitment evidenced by these projects,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “They give New Yorkers the opportunity to support pollution prevention, stormwater control, wetland and habitat restoration, water monitoring and public education as effective ways to enhance long-term stewardship of Long Island Sound, while promoting its sustainable recreational and economic uses.”
“The Futures Fund grants provide millions of dollars in funding for important local projects to protect Long Island Sound by addressing pollution and restoring valuable habitats,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. “EPA is committed to working with conservation partners and local communities to protect and restore iconic waters like Long Island Sound that are among our nation’s most precious natural resources.”
“By restoring estuaries and conserving habitats, the grants announced today will enhance the resilience of coastal communities," said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. “These grants represent NFWF’s continued commitment to improving the health of rivers, coastal marshes, forests and grasslands for the benefit of local communities and fish and wildlife in Long Island Sound.”
“The Long Island Sound is a precious natural resource whose value extends far beyond its many beloved beaches,” said Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “While the Sound is home to a rich array of wildlife and scenery enjoyed by visitors year-round, it also hosts habitats that provide enormous ecosystem services to the surrounding communities. These ecosystems will continue to protect and inspire us for as long as we work to ensure their health. The Long Island Sound Futures Fund does that by funding projects that promote healthy waterways and habitats, as well as by engaging local communities in their care and protection. The DEC congratulates and thanks all the awardees contributing to this effort.”
“Over the years, important projects have been funded that promoted habitat restoration of coastal wetland areas as well as watershed management projects and opening many miles riverine habitat for the passage of migratory fish to spawn,” said Rob Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “We have also witnessed the impacts of climate change, with additional projects funded to assist with improving resiliency and sustainability of our coastal and watershed habitats. This year is no different as we celebrate the awarding of over $2 Million to 20 Connecticut projects and 4 recipients in the Connecticut River watershed portions of Massachusetts and Vermont that ensure protection and preservation of this valuable estuary. We are pleased that over $300,000 is being awarded to Connecticut projects supporting resiliency and living shorelines restoration as well as marine spatial planning of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan. These projects and more, will continue to build on our efforts to protect and improve the health of Long Island Sound fostering improved water quality, habitat restoration, coastal stewardship, watershed based management, and public involvement and education.”
Habitat Restoration Planning and Environmental Stewardship at Hallock State Park Preserve (NY)
Group for the East End
Project Area: Hallock State Park Preserve, Riverhead, New York
LISFF Grant: $67,542; Matching Grant: $101,371
Group for the East End will conduct public and partner outreach, education programs and environmental stewardship activities, remove invasive plants, and develop habitat restoration plans for management of the 225 acre Hallock State Park Preserve, Riverhead, New York. The project activities and planning will inform restoration of natural resource and protect future cultural and recreational use.
Planning and Coordination for Coastal Forest Habitat Management in Bronx Park (NY)
City Parks Foundation
Project Area: Bronx Park, Bronx, New York
LISFF Grant: $99,810; Matching Grant: $76,000
City Parks Foundation will develop a management plan for 170 acres of coastal maritime forest in the Bronx Park, Bronx, New York. This project will contribute to targeted restoration and management of coastal maritime forest in an important urban Long Island Sound watershed.
Producing and Implementing a Community-supported Long Island Sound Blue Plan (CT, NY)
The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut
Project Location: Coastal communities in CT and NY that border Long Island Sound
LISFF Grant: $44,986; Matching Grant: $51,904
The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut will finalize the Long Island Sound Blue Plan in Connecticut and New York. The project will create a community-supported plan to protect marine life in Long Island Sound.
Sustainability Planning for the Town of Harrison (NY)
Town of Harrison
Project Area: Town of Harrison, New York
LISFF Grant: $45,000; Matching Grant: $45,000
The Town of Harrison will develop a drainage manual in Harrison, New York. The project will set the stage for implementation of Green Infrastructure projects to address stormwater pollution into Long Island Sound.
Hempstead Harbor 2019 Water Quality Monitoring Program XI (NY)
Village of Sea Cliff
Project Area: Hempstead Harbor, Nassau, County, New York
LISFF Grant: $75,000; Matching Grant: $65,484
The Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor will conduct water quality monitoring in Hempstead Harbor, Nassau County, New York. The project will inform management of Hempstead Harbor, an embayment of Long Island Sound.
Be a Good Egg III-Share the Shore with Shorebirds (NY)
Audubon New York
Project Area: Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary, Oyster Bay, New York; Oyster Bay, Crab Meadow, Nissequogue River, Stony Brook Harbor, Hallock State Park/Mattituck State Tidal Wetlands, and Plum and Gull Islands, New York
LISFF Grant: $41,009; Matching Grant: $41,757
Audubon New York will provide an environmental education program “Be a Good Egg,” encouraging people to share the shore with shorebirds on Long Island, New York. This project will engage people to reduce threats to these birds including piping plover, least tern, common tern, and American oystercatcher.
Going Strawless for Sea Turtles: Educating to Protect Marine Life and Eliminate Single-use Plastics (NY)
Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment
Project Area: Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island Sound Watershed, New York
LISFF Grant: $45,000; Matching Grant: $45,000
Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment will conduct comprehensive public education to reduce the use of plastic polluting Long Island Sound beaches, bays, and harbors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York. This project will gather 500 pledges from people to reduce common throw-away plastic use and engage ~200 volunteers in coastal cleanups.
Rain Gardens at Port Jefferson Harbor: Linking Water, Wildlife and Waterways (NY)
The Maritime Explorium
Project Area: Village of Port Jefferson, New York
LISFF Grant: $43,626; Matching Grant: $79,067
The Maritime Explorium will install native plant rain gardens with 80 volunteers in high-visibility public sites and provide natural landscaping guidance to 400 community members in Port Jefferson, New York. The project will demonstrate to 800,000+ visitors using the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry how rain gardens improve the water quality and biodiversity of Long Island Sound.
Expanding Environmental Stewardship in the Alley Creek Watershed (NY)
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Project Area: Alley Pond Park, Douglaston, Queens, New York
LISFF Grant: $45,000; Matching Grant: $45,000
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will expand the Shorekeepers program at Alley Creek Park, Queens, New York. The project will engage 200+ volunteers and develop a corps of 20+ “Super Stewards” to enhance long-term stewardship of ongoing tidal wetland and coastal forest restoration in this park on Long Island Sound.
Long Island Sound Beach Cleanup 2018 - VI (NY)
American Littoral Society
Project Area: Westchester County, Bronx County, Queens County, Suffolk County and Nassau County, Long Island Sound Watershed, New York
LISFF Grant: $10,000; Matching Grant: $376,498
American Littoral Society will deliver cleanups along 191 miles of shoreline at 58 sites in the Long Island Sound watershed of New York. This project will engage 5,000 volunteers to collect 35,000 lbs. of trash from shorelines, and to teach participants about preventing marine pollution into Long Island Sound.
Sound Effects: A Public Conservation Education Series (NY)
The Whaling Museum Society
Project Area: The Whaling Museum & Education Center, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
LISFF Grant: $9,998; Matching Grant: $5,050
The Whaling Museum Society will deliver a year-long public education series with hands-on learning and conservation-based activities to inform people about the effects of pollution on Long Island Sound. The project will teach 350 adult and elementary school audiences about actions they can take to improve the health of the Sound.
Celebration of Long Island Sound at SUNY Maritime College (NY)
State University of New York (SUNY), Maritime College
Project Area: SUNY Maritime College, Throggs Neck, New York
LISFF Grant: $7,665; Matching Grant: $13,248
The SUNY-Maritime College will host “Celebration of the Long Island Sound” providing an array of educational, recreational on-the-water and stewardship activities to the community in Throggs Neck, New York. The project will build awareness about and connect ~500 students and residents to the Sound in an annual celebration.
Bringing Environmental Stewardship to the 2019 Play2Learn Festival (NY)
Town of Harrison
Project Area: Town of Harrison, New York
LISFF Grant: $6,750; Matching Grant: $7,500
The Town of Harrison will expand the annual Play2Learn Festival to incorporate a Long Island Sound-based Play Zone in Harrison, New York. This project will introduce children to the Sound using a series of educational stations to foster development of a stronger understanding of their relationship to the Sound practical actions families can take to protect and restore it.
Partnering for Marine Debris & Trash Prevention and Animal Rescue around Long Island Sound (CT, NY)
Mystic Aquarium
Project Area: Mystic, New London, Norwich and Hartford, Connecticut; and Fisher's Island, New York
LISFF Grant: $44,587; Matching Grant: $46,062
Mystic Aquarium will offer education and stewardship opportunities focused the impact of marine debris on marine species engaging coastal and non-coastal communities in Connecticut and New York. The project will engage 250 volunteers to monitor coastlines for species affected by the debris, build public awareness about the issue, and remove ~1,600 pounds of marine debris and trash before entering Long Island Sound.

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