$12 million grant awarded to improve Long Island Sound environment

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bridgeport, connecticut (December 4, 2023) – Today, federal and state environmental agencies and officials from New England and New York, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), announced a total of $12 million Announced 39 grants amounting to $1. Contribute to organizations and local governments to improve the health of Long Island Sound. The grant will be matched by $8 million from the grant recipients themselves, resulting in $20 million in total conservation impact for projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. will be applied.

Collectively, these Long Island Sound Futures Fund 2023 grants will prevent 2.7 million gallons of stormwater and 101,000 pounds of nitrogen pollution from entering Long Island Sound waters, improving water quality. This will support the project. The project will also remove 120 tons of marine debris from the range and support restoration plans for 880 acres of coastal habitat and 162 miles of river corridors important to fish and wildlife. And the project plans to reach 30,000 people through an environmental education program that raises awareness about how to improve the health and vitality of sound. Funding for this grant program is provided by EPA as part of the Long Island Acoustic Survey (LISS), with additional support from FWS, NFWF, and the Zoetis Foundation.

“Everyone who lives, works, and plays in the Sound is entitled to clean water and fair access. Invest in the United States with these grants and billions from the Sound through bipartisan infrastructure legislation.” ’s investment puts us on the right path,” said David W. Cash, EPA New England Regional Director. “Thanks to these investments, EPA is delivering on its promise to uplift communities, increase resilience to climate change, and improve the overall health of the Sound.”

“EPA’s continued investment in locally-based programs in and around Long Island Sound will improve water quality, reduce nitrogen pollution, and reduce coastal pollution,” said Lisa F. Garcia, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 2. “This will restore habitat for many people.” An impactful project that will improve the health and resilience of this important estuary for generations to come and ensure all communities have a voice and role in its protection and restoration. . ”

LISS established the Futures Fund in 2005 through EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. This grant program has a strong history of improving the environment by supporting people and communities who value sound and play a direct role in its future. Since its inception, Futures Fund has invested his $56 million in 640 projects. The program generated an additional $65 million in grant matching funds for these projects for a total conservation impact of $121 million. The project opened 121 river miles as fish passage, restored 842 acres of fish and wildlife habitat, treated 208 million gallons of stormwater pollution, and engaged 5 million people in acoustic protection and restoration. .

“This year’s grants will help grantees and their partners develop projects that benefit local residents, farmers, fish and wildlife,” said Jeff Trandahl, NFWF Executive Director and CEO. We will provide support for implementation.” “The Long Island Sound watershed covers more than 16,000 square miles across six states, and today’s funding will help create a healthier, cleaner, and more accessible watershed that will benefit wildlife and people for generations to come. It represents a commitment to advancing decades of progress toward resilient watersheds.”

“Projects funded today include protecting and restoring critical habitat for endangered wildlife such as piping plovers and roseate terns, as well as creating more resilient habitats to climate change. It includes working directly with local communities to create a future landscape,” said Northeast Regional Director Wendy Weber. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Removing dams and replacing culverts can clear the way for migratory fish while reducing the risk of flooding. A living shoreline cushions destructive storm surges while supporting fish and shellfish. The grant will support a bright future for the people and wildlife of Long Island Sound.”

“Since 2005, Connecticut has been privileged to benefit from the groundbreaking and important work of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund. , leading to real-world progress and improvements to our most treasured natural resource, Long Island Sound,” said Emma Cimino, Connecticut Deputy Secretary of Energy and Environmental Protection. “Today, the State of Connecticut joins in celebrating the awarding of more than $7.5 million in 23 grants to 22 Connecticut recipients, leveraging approximately $4 million in additional local funds. These important, forward-thinking projects range from reducing nitrogen pollution and removing barriers to fish passage to increasing the resilience of coastal communities and providing pathways to careers in conservation for young people in environmental justice communities. We are grateful to our federal partners for this impactful funding in Connecticut and funding in New York.”

“Long Island Sound is an irreplaceable natural resource for New Yorkers and our neighbors alike,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Secretary Basil Seggos. Significant investments and efforts are underway in collaboration with key partners to restore and protect the Sound for future generations through improved water quality, critical habitat conservation, and responsible growth. We are proud to strengthen recreational access and empower our citizens to protect this important natural resource. DEC recognizes this grant for our continued dedication to conserving this important ecosystem. We congratulate and thank the winners.”

A complete list of 2023 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant recipients can be found here. A list of quotes from elected officials and partners regarding today’s grant announcements can be found here. For more information, please visit his website at NFWF Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

background

Long Island Sound is an estuary that provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people, and is also home to more than 1,200 species of invertebrates, 170 species of fish, and dozens of migratory bird species. Grant projects contribute to a healthier Long Island Sound for everyone, from residents in nearby communities to those in the farthest reaches of Long Island Sound. All 9 million people who live, work and play in sound-impact watersheds can benefit from and build on the progress made to date.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Authorized by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants, and habitats. NFWF works with federal, corporate, foundation, and individual partners to fund more than 6,000 organizations and generate $8.1 billion in total conservation impact. NFWF is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, visit nfwf.org.

About U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants
EPA provides more than $4 billion in grants and other support agreements each year. EPA helps many forward-thinking organizations, from small nonprofit organizations to large state governments, achieve their environmental goals. With countless success stories over the years, EPA grants remain a key tool for protecting human health and the environment. Follow EPA Region 1 (New England) on X and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 1, please visit our website.

About Long Island Sound Study
The Long Island Sound Study, developed under EPA’s National Estuary Program, is a collaborative effort between EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore Long Island Sound and its ecosystem. For more information about the Long Island Sound Study, please visit our website.

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contact:

Kristen Peterson, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), 410-353-3582, kpeterson@thehatchergroup.com
Michael Rumph, U.S. EPA Region 1 (New England), 617-918-1016, rumph.mikayla@epa.gov
Stephen McBay U.S. EPA Region 2, 212-637-3672, mcbay.stephen@epa.gov

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