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2009 CCMP Implementation Tracking Report

This report summarizes the continuing work of the LISS Management Conference partners in carrying out the CCMP. The LISS Management Conference is sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and the state of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEEP). The report may be read and/or downloaded in the Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format.

To view the 2009 CCMP Implementation Tracking Report, download the pdf document.

See below to read the Summary page:

SUMMARY

HYPOXIA

The total 2009 nitrogen load from the 106 New York and Connecticut sewage treatment plants (STPs) that discharge into Long Island Sound is estimated at 39,011Trade-equalized pounds per day. Under the Long Island Sound Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nitrogen, each STP is assigned a numerical factor that provides a mathematical means of calculating the relative impact of nitrogen it discharges, depending on the STPs’ distance and other factors, from the Sound. The 2009 discharge represents a decrease of more than 20,000 TE lbs/day from the TMDL baseline of 59,146 TE lbs/day. Annualized over the 15 year life of the TMDL,the 2009 TE discharge total represents achieving 55 percent of the 2014 goal of 22,774 TE lbs/day. The maximum area of low dissolved oxygen less than 3 milligrams per liter in the Sound in Summer 2009 covered an estimated 169 square miles at peak lasting for 45 days. The pre-TMDL average from 1987-1999 is 208 square miles and 58 days, while the post-TMDL average from 200-2009 is 186 square miles and 58 days.

LIVING RESOURCES and HABITATS

The program restored 656 acres from 1998-2008 goal period. The LISS met its goal to reopen 100 miles of river corridor to diadromous fish passage, with 145 miles reopened in the 10 year period. The habitat restoration goal continues to be hampered by the inherent complexity of coordinating and managing on-the-ground construction projects with the various levels of state and local governments and public and private property owners. Obtaining adequate funding for restoration projects remains problematic. Often funding sources need to be ‘cobbled’ together and coordinated with on-the-ground work, adding to the complexity of accomplishing projects.

TOXICS, PATHOGENS and FLOATABLES

Toxic pollutants continue to decrease in the Sound as sources are better identified and controlled and legacy levels are naturally cleansed or degraded in the environment. State and federal permit and reporting programs, such as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and the Toxics Release Inventory program, and other public information and education programs have helped to control and require reporting of toxic releases to the environment. Long Island Sound still suffers from hundreds of years of deposition of toxic pollutants that take many years to disperse. Pathogens and floatable debris are continuing management concerns and the LISS CCMP includes state and local program to address sources of pathogen contamination to our waterways and deposition of floatable debris.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT and EDUCATION.

The Citizens Advisory Committee met in March, June, September, and December 2009. The CAC continued to provide advice to the LISS on program implementation. The Long Island Sound Study’s new and revised website,  www.longislandsoundstudy.net continues to resonate with the public as new features and information have been added. Website page visits are on the increase, showing a steady public interest in the Sound and its ecosystems. The Small Grants program continued to provide opportunities for citizen involvement and citizen education by funding projects at the local level

SCIENCE and RESEARCH

The LISS Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) met in February, June and November 2009. The STAC elected a new Connecticut co-chair in 2009, Dr. Carmela Cuomo of the University of New Haven, replacing Dr. Charles Yarish of UConn, who stepped down after many long years of service with the STAC and LISS. Ongoing LISS-funded research projects include the development and publication of a synthesis of the scientific research and data on the Sound; a synthesis of water quality monitoring and planktonic data. Projects completed in 2009 include development of a water quality index using cluster analysis and analysis of the SWEM model.

MANAGEMENT and FUNDING

The Management Committee met in January, April, July and October 2009. The 2009 federal budget for the Study totaled $3.5 million, which funds key base program functions and staff positions for the Management Conference. The Long Island Sound base program consists of the water quality monitoring program conducted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; the public information, education and outreach program conducted by the New York and Connecticut Sea Grant programs; the Long Island Sound Futures Fund large and small grants program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; the CCMP Enhancements Projects grant program, administered by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission; and the Long Island Sound Research grant program jointly administered by the New York Sea Grant program and the Connecticut Sea Grant program. For federal fiscal year 2010, which runs from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010, the LISS budget totaled $7.8 million, a significant increase from 2009 and the most funding ever appropriated for the LISS.

CONTINUING THE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

IMPLEMENTING THE CCMP IS THE COMBINED RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE PARTNERS. THROUGH THEIR ONGOING PROGRAMS AND DAY-TO-DAY  OPERATIONS, AND THROUGH FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, AND PRIVATE LIS FUNDING INITIATIVES AND ACTIVITIES, CCMP PRIORITIES ARE ASSESSED, IMPLEMENTED, AND REPORTED.

CCMP STRATEGY

An essential element of the Long Island Sound Study strategy to implement the CCMP was to continue the Management Conference partnership in carrying out the plan to restore and protect the Sound. The states and EPA signed LIS Agreements in 1994, 1996, and 2003, formally committing EPA and the states to the Management Conference partnership as the primary means of implementing the CCMP. Most of the original thirteen actions in this section of the CCMP continue to be key to the viability of the LISS partnership. Federal legislation in 1990 created the EPA Long Island Sound Office to bridge the bi-state, multi-agency, public/private efforts to restore and protect the Sound.

LIS 2003 AGREEMENT GOAL

Support the LISS Management Conference partnership in communicating and coordinating action to restore and protect the Sound among federal, state, interstate, and local governments, educational institutions, private nonprofit organizations, the regulated community, and the public. This section contains several continuing goals, including ongoing federal and state support in building partnerships to implement the CCMP, and to support the Science and Technical Advisory Committee, the Citizens Advisory Committee and Long Island Sound Office. The Agreement commits the LISS to convene within a five-year window to update progress and refine its goals through the Management Conference process.

2009 HIGHLIGHTS

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