Photos of the Long Island Sound

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2011 Large Grants Projects

New York

Habitat Restoration Projects

Coastal Grasslands Restoration at Caumsett State Park

Recipient: New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
LISFF Award: $39,466 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds: $40,030
Total Project Costs: $79,496
Project Area: Caumsett State Park, Lloyd Neck

The New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will remove non-native plants and restore 25 acres of native grassland habitat. The project will provide habitat for breeding and wintering grassland birds, including eastern meadowlark and bobolink. The project will install three interpretive signs at the restoration site, and offer education programs for park visitors.

Removing Ghost Fishing Gear to Restore the Sound for Long Island Fisheries

Recipient:  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County
LISFF Award: $98,556.27 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $71,712
Total Project Costs: $170,268.27
Project Area: Northport, Huntington, and Oyster Bay

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is focused on reducing the decline of 25,600 acres of marine habitat for American lobster, blue crab, horseshoe crab, and other marine fisheries through the removal of 180,000  “ghost fishing” lobster traps and one ton of ropes, buoys and other marine debris left over by Long Island lobstermen in Northport, Huntington, and Oyster Bay.

Restoration of Forests at Audubon’s First Bird Sanctuary, Oyster Bay

Recipient:  Audubon New York, and Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center
LISFF Award: $34,977.27 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds: $13,210
Total Project Costs: $48187.27
Project Area: Oyster Bay

Audubon New York, and Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center will remove non-native plants and restore a rare 14-acre old growth coastal forest comprised of American tulip tree, and oak, red maple, beech, and hickory trees.  Native plantings will restore successional forest, forest edge/meadows, and shaded understory/woodland floor areas within the sanctuary for birds and other wildlife.

WATER QUALITY IMPLEMENTATION

Engaging Sweet Corn Farmers to Reduce Nitrogen

Recipient:  American Farmland Trust
LISFF Award: $150,000 (EPA/ NRCS)
Matching Funds:  $220,000
Total Project Costs: $370,000
Project Area: Town of Southold

American Farmland Trust will promote adoption of controlled release nitrogen fertilizer, an innovative conservation practice which aims to reduce conventional nitrogen fertilizer application rates from 140-150 pounds per acre to no more than 95 pounds per acre on eight sweet corn operations. The project aims to demonstrate it is possible reduce nitrogen pollution into Long Island Sound from specialty crops, while still maintaining crop yields and economic returns for farmers.  Project partners include the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.

Planning

Engineering Design of Sunken Meadow Creek, Sunken Meadow State Park

LISFF Award: $60,000
Matching Funds: $62,000
Total Project Costs: $122,000
Project Area: Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park

New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will finalize a plan to restore salt marsh and underwater habitat for anadromous and resident fish in Sunken Meadow Creek.The goal of the project is reintroduction of tidal flow across the current dike to provide access for fish. Restoration of tidal flow would reconnect approximately 73 acres of vegetated wetland and 38 acres of underwater wetland to daily tidal flushing, and help improve water quality into the Long Island Sound.

Mill River-Beekman Creek Restoration Project: Phase One

Recipient:  Friends of the Bay
LISFF Award: $40,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds:  $43,260
Total Project Costs:  $83,260
Project Area: Mill River and Beekman Creek in Oyster Bay

Friends of the Bay will develop a restoration and stewardship plan for the Mill River sub-watershed from the outflow at Beekman Beach to Glen Cove Road. The planning will focus on fish and wildlife habitat, diadromous fish passage, water quality, public access, education, invasive species removal and stormwater control. The planning aims to reconnect and restore fragmented segments of Mill River and Beekman Creek and establish a walking trail to connect Beekman Beach and the western waterfront to the Mill Pond overlook property.  Partners include: Town of Oyster Bay and the Long Island Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Crab Meadow Watershed Hydrology Study & Stewardship Plan

Recipient: New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
LISFF Award: $58,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $27,000
Total Project Costs: $85,000
Project Area: Northport

The Town of Huntington will prepare a watershed and stewardship action plan to restore and protect Crab Meadow  comprised  of a mosaic of 300 acres of high salt marsh, beach and tidal flat, barrier beach and woodlands. Crab Meadow provides habitat for rare fish and wildlife species, including federally listed piping plover and least tern, and clapper rail, marsh wren, red-winged blackbird, and swamp sparrow. It is also a productive area for finfish, shellfish, and crustaceans, contributing to the biological productivity of Long Island Sound.

SPONGE PARK Street Swale Infrastructure Initiative

Recipient: Regional Plan Association
LISFF Award: $59,935 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $176,110
Total Project Costs: $236,045
Project Area: Long Island Expressway/Van Wyck Expressway, Queens

The Regional Plan Association will prepare a plan for a project to install two bioretention basins to detain and filter 7,700 gallons of polluted stormwater runoff annually flowing into  Long Island Sound. It will detain runoff from 11,420 sq. ft. of impervious highway surfaces under the Long Island Expressway near the Van Wyck Expressway to illustrate the potential of “green infrastructure”  to improve water quality.

Mamaroneck River Corridor Buffer Restoration

Recipient:  Westchester County, Planning Department
LISFF Award: $41,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $4,500
Total Project Costs: $46,500
Project Area: Mamaroneck River in Westchester County

The Westchester County, Planning Department will prepare a plan to restore 4.5 acres along the  Mamaroneck River at Saxon Woods County Park by focusing on removing non-native plants and planting with woodland vegetation. The project aims to anchor and stabilize the floodplain, help treat polluted stormwater to improve water quality for fish and recreation, and provide habitat for native wildlife.

WATER QUALITY MONITORING

Hempstead Harbor 2011 Water Quality Monitoring Program

Recipient: Village of Sea Cliff
LISFF Award: $40,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $62,910
Total Project Costs: $102,910
Project Area: Hempstead Harbor

The village of Sea Cliff  will continue a water quality monitoring program to collect data at 18 locations and to track 13 different sources of pollution in order to gauge progress and to pinpoint deteriorating water quality trends. The data are also used to help monitor water quality at newly opened shellfish beds. The project will publish an annual report, posting results on a website for use by the communities and state agencies. Project partners include: Town of North Hempstead, Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County Department of Health, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, University of Connecticut  Marine Sciences Department, and the Nassau County Marine Police.

EDUCATION

Adopt-a-Trout: Promoting Community-Based Stewardship 

Recipient:   Hofstra University
LISFF Award: $34,978 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $45,598
Total Project Costs: $80,576
Project Area: Hofstra University; Shu Swamp, North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary, and Cleft Road, Town of Mill Neck

Hofstra University will engage students from 15 schools to raise 230 mature and juvenile brook trout, a native fishery of Long Island, and release tagged fish into Shu Swamp Preserve, the trout’s only known spawning ground in Nassau County.  Students will monitor the trout life cycle using telemetry to understand their habitat needs and migration patterns into fresh and brackish water. Hofstra students, faculty, community groups and Trout Unlimited volunteers will also track movements of tagged fish and assess stream conditions.  A public lecture and teacher workshop will be offered about the project. Partners include: Trout Unlimited and Friends of the Bay.

Great Egret Foraging Science Education Project

Recipient: Rocking-the-Boat
LISFF Award: $20,000 (FWS)
Matching Funds: $10,000
Total Project Costs: $30,000
Project Area: Bronx River, Bronx

Rocking-the-Boat will train 64 high school students to conduct regular surveys of the wading bird population, particularly herons and egrets at six different sites along the Bronx River. The project is designed to teach hands-on science methods using the foraging habits of the birds; and the data collected are used to determine sites for future restoration of habitat for waterbirds in New York City.  Project partners include New York City Audubon.

Sound Experiences: From Ship-to-Shore

Recipient:  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County
LISFF Award: $35,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds:  $17,225
Total Project Costs: $52,225
Project Area: Oyster Bay and Schools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County will provide 24 groups of 575 students (grades 4-8), from schools in underserved communities in Suffolk and Nassau counties,  with direct educational experiences about the Long island Sound through field investigations on the beach and in the salt marsh, and aboard a restored oyster sloop.  Partners include the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay.

BYOB- Bring Your Own Bag

Recipient:  Citizens Campaign for the Environment
LISFF Award: $25,000.40 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $30,000
Total Project Costs: $55,000.40
Project Area: Northport and Port Jefferson

Citizens Campaign for the Environment will implement a pilot campaign to reduce plastic pollution into waterways to encourage 500 residents to use reusable bags instead of throw-a-way disposable plastic bags in two communities within Long Island Sound Watershed  The project will producing a short video public service announcement, distributing 2,500 brochures in targeted areas, working with local businesses to ensure “prompts” are displayed in local shops, and encouraging residents to pledge to stop using plastic bags.

Connecticut

Habitat Restoration

Pequonnock River Apron Fish Passage Project

Recipient: Connecticut Fund for the Environment
LISFF Award: $59,172 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds:  $59,172
Total Project Costs: $118,344
Project Area:  Pequonnock River, Bridgeport

Connecticut Fund for the Environment will install a step pool fish ladder through an existing concrete erosion apron installed in the Pequonnock River, which is impeding upstream fish passage. Installation of the fish ladder will remedy the problem and restore five miles of upstream river passage for migrating and spawning alewife and blueback herring.   Project partners include the City of Bridgeport.

Project Title: Long Beach West Invasive Species Control Project
Recipient:  Town of Stratford
LISFF Award: $56,100 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds: $9,486
Total Project Costs: $65,586
Project Area: Stratford

The Town of Stratford will prepare a  management plan and implement invasive species control at a 35-acre area that includes a barrier beach, dunes, tidal wetlands and sand flats with the ultimate goal of restoration of habitat for important wildlife including least tern and piping plover. Long Beach and the adjacent Pleasure Beach shelter a 700-acre estuarine system that provides one of the most critical areas for birds in Connecticut, representing 20 percent of the undeveloped barrier beach habitat in Connecticut. The sites are also located adjacent to the Great Meadows unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge.  Project partners include: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and Connecticut Audubon Society.

Long Cove Tidal Marsh Restoration

Recipient:  Town of Guilford
LISFF Award: $49,250 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $49,518
Total Project Costs:  $98,768
Project Area:  Guilford

The Town of Guilford will restore 60 acres of tidal marsh by increasing the size of the culvert under Daniel Avenue from a 30-inch pipe to a 6-foot by 4-foot  box culvert to increase the flow of water, cause the die-off of invasive phragmites plants and allow for re-establishment of marsh grasses providing habitat to animals and large birds such as ducks, shorebirds, and wading birds.  The new culvert will also provide opportunities for fish to swim northward into the marsh environment providing food for the bird species. The renewed flooding of the marsh in some areas may lead to to shallow pools, intertidal flats and ponds.

 SPECIES CONSERVATION

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbird Stewardship

Recipient: Audubon Connecticut
LISFF Award: $117,707.66 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds: $82,304
Total Project Costs: $200,011.66
Project Area: Connecticut Coastal Shoreline and Coastal Islands

Audubon Connecticut will reduce threats to priority coastal waterbird species and their habitats by deploying 50 beach stewards to protect nest sites and reach out to beachgoers and boaters, effectively doubling the number of volunteer stewards currently engaged in coastal bird stewardship activities. Five interns will be available to serve as professional stewards available for such activities in the state. This program will also implement new stewardship activities for island nesting species on Duck, Charles and Great Captains Islands, which are not currently stewarded, and expand beach steward coverage to include migrant shorebirds as well as nesting birds.  Training will be offered to land managers in municipalities.  The primary target species for the project are piping plover, American oystercatcher and least tern. Secondary targets include common tern, black skimmer, great egret, snowy egrets, and migrant shorebirds, including red knot, sanderling, semi-palmated sandpiper, and others.  Project partners include the: US Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

WATER QUALITY IMPLEMENTATION

Improving Equine Operation Nutrient Management

Recipient:  Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District
LISFF Award$150,000 (EPA/NRCS)
Matching Funds: $75,000
Total Project Costs: $225,000
Project Area:  All of Connecticut

The Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District and two other conservation districts will deliver a voluntary project designed to assist 15 or more horse farm owners, operators and managers to address water quality challenges at their operations by implementing manure management and other best management practices, and through technical and financial assistance. The project aims to address  nutrient discharges into tributaries and rivers that flow into Long Island Sound from equine operations. Project partners include the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District and the Southwest Conservation District.

PLANNING

Fish Passage Improvement on Spoonville Dam on the Farmington River

Recipient:  Farmington River Watershed Association
LISFF Award: $60,000 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds: $220,000
Total Project Costs: $280,000
Project Area: Farmington River, East Granby,, and Bloomfield

The Farmington River Watershed Association will finalize engineering, bids and permitting with the overall goal of restoring access to about 50 miles of upstream spawning habitat for native fisheries including river herring and shad.  Project partners include the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Northeast Utilities.

Restoration of a Coastal Shoreline at Stratford Point

Recipient: Sacred Heart University
LISFF Award: $54,854 (EPA/FWS)
Matching Funds: $61,912
Total Project Costs: $116,766
Project Area: Stratford Point, Stratford

Sacred Heart University will develop a management plan for the restoration of 23 acres of coastal habitat,  including 20 acres of grasslands, .5 acres of dunes, and 1.4 acres of intertidal marshes at Stratford Point. The information in the plan will be used to engage hands-on restoration of neighboring natural areas and help guide future restoration activities. Project partners include the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, DuPont Company, and Audubon Connecticut.

An Online Guide to Responding to Impervious Cover Regulation

Recipient:  University of Connecticut, Center for Land Use Education and Research
LISFF Award: $60,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $29,537
Total Project Costs: $89,537
Project Area:  Communities throughout CT in the LIS Watershed

The University of Connecticut will create a multi-media website to provide guidance to local government to allow it to proactively respond to state standards that will require those entities address the extent of imperviousness (i.e., roadways, sidewalks, buildings etc) in their watersheds as a means  to address pollution resulting from many currently indistinquishable sources that flow over paved, impervious area into waterways. The website will provide information and “lessons learned” from the first impervious Total Maximum Daily Load project, Eagleville Brook in Mansfield, Connecticut. The website will enable communities to respond more quickly and efficiently to new standards, increase the adoption of green infrastructure practices that reduce  the impact of imperviousness, and decrease pollution into the Long Island Sound.

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Poquetanuck Cove Action Plan, Preston and Ledyard

Recipient: Eastern Connecticut Conservation District
LISFF Award: $60,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $53,000
Total Project Costs: $113,000
Project Area:  Preston and Ledyard

The Eastern Connecticut Conservation District will work with public officials and the community to develop an Intermunicipal Agreement with a goal of adopting a Poquetanuck Cove Action Plan. Forty local officials, 50 landowners,100 citizens and 90 volunteers will be involved in workshops, surveys, and  hands-on events to help the district gather information to list the important resources, anticipate the threats to those resources, and develop achievable strategies to address those threats. Poquetanuck Cove is described as the best remaining example of a brackish water tidal marsh wetland in the Thames watershed. The cove is an established bird sanctuary and an important diadromous fish area. This public resource is enjoyed for scenic vistas, fishing, crabbing, bird watching, paddling, and hiking because of several public access opportunities along the shore.

WATER QUALITY MONITORING

Water Quality Project Used to Implement Pollution Solutions

Recipient: Clean Up Stonington Harbors
LISFF Award: $24,481(EPA)
Matching Funds: $19,400
Total Project Costs: $44,881
Project Area: Stonington Harbors

Clean Up Stonington Harbors will have its team of volunteers collect water quality information and integrate the information into a water-quality database to identify pollution from multiple sources to identify areas of concern and to implement solutions to the problems. Project partners include the  Grasso Technical High School Bio-Environmental Department and University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus, Department of Marine Sciences.

Education

Creature Encounters

Recipient:  The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
LISFF Award: $34,890 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $37,021
Total Project Costs: $71,911
Project Area:  All Connecticut

The Maritime Aquarium will continue its live animal series, “Creature Encounters,” which is addressing  the issue of nonpoint source pollution and its effects on the animals and habitats of Long Island Sound. Aquarium staff will present the series to more than 95,000 visitors. Creature Encounters is an aquarium station hosted by trained educators and designed to present general aquarium visitors with both informal and scheduled educational experiences that are consistently enjoyable, informative, accurate and personalized.  Live animals are presented as hosts and protagonists to engage children and adults, while educators ask visitors to adopt simple changes  in their lives to protect habitat and wildlife with a goal of engaging 35,000 visitors in pledges to make those changes. Partners include Splash Car Wash.

Raising Awareness of Rising Sea-levels in Coastal Marshes

Recipient: Yale University
LISFF Award: $35,000 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $39,447
Total Project Costs: $74,447
Project Area: New Haven and West Haven

Yale University will involve 25 high school students  and five student interns from urban schools in a research project investigating marshes along the Connecticut coast of Long Island Sound. This interdisciplinary study has multiple facets, including experiments to determine how salt marshes respond to warming, geological reconstructions of past salt marsh accretion, and coastal resilience planning. Students will use knowledge from their interactions with scientists to help create a museum exhibit to educate the public about Connecticut salt marshes and sea-level rise. The exhibit will be displayed at the Yale Peabody Museum.  Project partners include  The Nature Conservancy.

SoundWaters Public Engagement Sails Connecting LIS

Recipient: SoundWaters
LISFF Award: $34,486 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $34,767
Total Project Costs: $69,253
Project Area: Long Island Sound ports in Connecticut and New York

SoundWaters will lead 30 hands-on educational sails, stopping in 10 ports aboard the schooner SoundWaters, to discuss the impacts of floatable (plastic bags, bottles etc.) and other pollution on the Sound, and to engage participants to make pledges of  stewardship. About 1,050 adults and children will be reached through the sails. Project partners include Aspetuck Land Trust, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Long Island North Shore Heritage Area, Saybrook Point Marina, and the Westchester Land Trust.

Diving Deeper: Children’s Sound Programs at Common Ground

Recipient: New Haven Ecology Project/Common Ground
LISFF Award: $15,024 (EPA)
Matching Funds: $14,186
Total Project Costs: $29,210
Project Area:  City Park, New Haven

Diving Deeper is a two-pronged, year-long strategy for engaging 1,000 children and 500 families and community members about the Long Island Sound and watershed protection.  Both during the school year and over the summer, children will experience their piece of the Long Island Sound watershed first-hand: through hands-on, minds-on exploration of Wintergreen Brook and Lake Wintergreen, the parts of this watershed closest to their own lives and neighborhoods. Through direct experience and facilitated activities, they will come to understand how their own actions and the waterways in their backyards connect directly to Long Island Sound.   Project partners include the  Regional Water Authority’s Whitney Water Center.

Riparian Corridors and the Pequonnock River Watershed

Recipient: University of Connecticut
LISFF Award: $34,999.08  (EPA)
Matching Funds: $4,748
Total Project Costs: $39,747.08
Project Area: Pequonnock River Watershed, Fairfield County and Monroe, Trumbull, and Bridgeport

The University of Connecticut will develop and conduct workshops presenting the value of riparian corridors in three Pequonnock River Watershed towns with a goal of restoring and protecting critical stream and estuarine habitats, water quality and stream integrity. Riparian plant lists and fact sheets will be distributed about riparian site preparation and how to plant these areas such that municipalities, land trusts, and homeowners can improve and restore riparian corridors.

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