Rep. Zeldin, EPA, and State Officials Announce $2.04 Million in Funding for Long Island Sound Restoration
Rep. Zeldin announces $2.04 million in grants for local governments and community groups to improve the health and vitality of the Long Island Sound.
PATCHOGUE, N.Y. - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus and founding member of the Congressional Estuary Caucus, was joined by EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Northeast Regional Director Amanda Bassow, and others, to announce 31 grants, totaling $2.04 million, that will be awarded to local governments and community groups. The grants will support projects that will continue to improve water quality, restore natural habitats, enhance living resources, and educate and involve the public in protecting and restoring the Long Island Sound.
“The Long Island Sound is a precious feature of our life, culture, and economy, one that affects the livelihoods of all Long Islanders, as well as our local recreation and tourism industries,” Congressman Zeldin said, “Protecting and restoring this critical waterway, which has suffered from pollution and overdevelopment for too many years, is so important to improving our area’s water quality, restoring our area’s natural habitats, and improving Long Islanders’ quality of life. These grants, totaling $2.04 million, are a critical component of preserving the Long Island Sound for generations to come.”
“Throughout my career in public service, I have seen time and again how effective local actions can be in solving daunting problems,” said Regional Administrator Lopez. “Engaging the people who are most connected to the Long Island Sound is the most effective way to work toward the Sound’s recovery – evidenced by the tremendous success we have already enjoyed in restoring this world-famous jewel.”
“One of the greatest environmental challenges facing our nation and its communities is the protection and restoration of highly productive estuaries,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO, NFWF. “This year, funded projects will help youth become stewards of the outdoors and introduce them to wildlife in their schoolyards. Additionally, work will help restore the health of our rivers, coastal marshes, forests and grasslands for the benefit of fish and wildlife and to enhance the strength of coastal communities."
“The Long Island Sound Futures Fund has effectively leveraged $50 million to accelerate implementation of the most innovative, sustainable and cost-effective strategies for improving water quality and protecting vital habitats throughout the Long Island Sound watershed,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This funding complements key local projects supporting the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan and Governor Cuomo’s aggressive actions to restore and protect this vital ecosystem.”
Since coming to Congress, Congressman Zeldin has been instrumental in securing the resources and funding needed for these vital programs to continue protecting and preserving the Long Island Sound. Earlier this year, he secured $26.5 million for the National Estuary Program and a doubling of the Long Island Sound program to $8 million.
The $2.04 million in grant funding announced today will treat 439,000 gallons of water runoff, reducing more than 15,600 pounds of nitrogen and collecting 2,800 pounds of floating trash.