Photos of the Long Island Sound

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2018 Large Grants Projects

Connecticut

 CLEAN WATER AND HEALTHY WATERSHEDS

Addressing the Problem of Microplastics in Long Island Sound Harbors

Recipient: Center for Environmental Sciences & Engineering and Institute for Materials Science, University of Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $99,999
Matching Funds: $99,893
Total Project: $199,892
Project Area:  Four Long Island Sound  Harbors: Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, and West Haven,  and University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs

University of Connecticut will investigate microplastic pollution (MPs) working with partners to highlight the impact of this type of pollution on local resources in the western Long Island Sound, Connecticut. Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in the Sound. Plastic debris comes in all sizes. Those less than five millimeters (the size of a sesame seed) are called “microplastics.” MPs come from larger plastic debris that degrade into smaller pieces; and microbeads tiny pieces of plastic added to health and beauty products. These particles easily pass through filtration systems at wastewater treatment plants.  More information is needed about the full toxic impact MPs  have on marine life like oysters, and on humans. Because the Sound is home to recreation, shellfishing, industry, and wastewater treatment plants, it is an ideal multiuse environment to consider the problem.  The project will: 1) Assess MPs and associated contaminants from treatment plants and freshwater sources; 2) Investigate MPs in water, sediment, and oysters; 3) Quantify contaminants adhering to MPs; 4) Conduct meetings and develop materials to inform ~100 government and public stakeholders; and 5) Work with the Long Island Sound Study to incorporate information into public outreach about MPs and integrate into the UCONN Natural Resources Academy curriculum.  The project will fill knowledge gaps and develop recommendations to address this issue around the Sound. 

Disconnecting Downspouts and Connecting Partners in the West River Watershed

Recipient: Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
LISFF Funds: $84,035
Matching Funds: $140,000
Total Project: $224,035
Project Area: The east side of the West River from its northern border to New Haven Harbor

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of New Haven will install 1,000 square feet of Green Infrastructure (GI) at 10 residential sites, and prevent 108,000 gallons of stormwater pollution annually from flowing into the West River and Long Island Sound in New Haven, Connecticut. The West River has water quality problems including stormwater pollution due, in part, to surrounding residential neighborhoods served by  antiquated combined sewer systems with numerous outfalls into the river. Resident interest has galvanized local government to prioritize the reduction of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) (discharges of storm and wastewater, toxics and debris) pollution. NHS, which rehabilitates houses in the neighborhood and engages neighbors in quality-of-life issues, will reduce the amount of water from residences which contribute to CSOs by installing GI which has documented benefits in reducing stormwater pollution. The project will: 1) Evaluate 40 sites with 10 sites selected for installation GI such as rain gardens, pop-up lawn systems, and subsurface infiltration systems; 2) Connect 30 property owners with West River Watershed Coalition (Coalition) partners to install GI  such as rain barrels and flow through planter boxes; 3) Host Coalition meetings, work with it to identify other residential GI sites and to mobilize members as project volunteers; and 4) Install signs at the sites about the GI project to increase community awareness and involvement in projects.

SoundWaters Bioextraction Seaweed Farm for Stamford

Recipient: SoundWaters
LISFF Funds: $38,307
Matching Funds: $31,534
Total Project: $69,841
Project Area: Stamford Harbor and SoundWaters laboratory facilities at Boccuzzi Park, Stamford

SoundWaters will install a seaweed farm to bioextract pollution from Stamford Harbor and Long Island Sound; and educate students, teachers and the public about environmental, economic and community benefits of seaweed bioextraction in Stamford, Connecticut.  Seaweed, which grows rapidly and efficiently, absorbs pollution such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and phosphorus making it “a living vacuum” to clean the waters of the Sound.  The project will provide a public platform to illustrate how natural biological communities like seaweed, which is already found in waterways, reduce water pollution. The project will: 1) Plant, cultivate and harvest seaweed from the farm; 2) Operate the farm as an educational tool for 130 high school student and 16 Harbor Corps members in 26 classroom and field exercises about seaweed cultivation and how seaweed and the aquaculture farming system improve water quality and contribute to thriving coastal ecosystems; 3) Engage 280 volunteers in maintenance of this underwater community garden; 3) Present a 3-D dockside exhibit of the farm and participate in community events about the farm for 18,000 visitors; 4) Evaluate project results in terms of amount of seaweed harvested, amount of nitrogen bioextracted, economic benefits, and interviews of volunteers and students about knowledge/experience gained. Project partners include: Stamford Public Schools, Stella Mar Oyster Co, University of Connecticut-Stamford professors, GreenWave and Half Full Brewery.

Bright Green Hartford- Residential Rainwater Management for a Greener, Cleaner, and Healthier Hartford

Recipient: City of Hartford
LISFF Funds: $177,310
Matching Funds: $89,700
Total Project: $267,010
Project Area:  City of Hartford

The City of Hartford will conduct a city-wide Green Infrastructure (GI) program to provide residents with tools to reduce stormwater pollution into the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.  Hartford is a highly populated and developed urban area on the Connecticut River the largest source of freshwater into the Sound.  Hartford has significant amounts of impervious area comprised of buildings, roads, and sidewalks, and problems with Combined Sewer Overflows all contributing to stormwater runoff affecting the health of surrounding waterways. This project will engage residents in installation of GI tools which have documented benefits in reducing stormwater pollution. The project will: 1) Provide “Bright Green Hartford” kits with materials including 700 downspout disconnection kits, 700 rain barrels, and 16 trees to residents; 2) Engage 14 youth in public outreach and education activities; 3) Host four workshops for signups and to provide DIY GI installation instructions; 4) Conduct workdays and green projects across the city;  and 5) Calculate program impact using a runoff analysis tool and resident surveys about GI project performance.  The project will reduce stormwater pollution, build awareness and engage the community in environmental stewardship. Project partners: City of Hartford, Climate Stewardship Council and Office of Sustainability, Hartford Youth Service Corps, Keney Park Sustainability Project, The Metropolitan District, and Our Piece of the Pie.

Community-driven Nitrogen Action Planning for Southeastern Connecticut Harbors and Bays

Recipient: The Nature Conservancy-Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $40,862
Matching Funds: $40,862
Total Project: $161,724
Project Area: Mystic River Embayment, Stony Brook/Frontal Fisher’s Island Sound and Pawcatuck River Embayment

The Nature Conservancy-Connecticut will develop a locally-driven watershed-based nitrogen action plan that prioritizes activities to reduce nitrogen pollution entering three Southeastern Connecticut coastal harbors and bays and Long Island Sound.  Poor water quality from nitrogen pollution is the Sound’s most pressing ecological problem particularly in coastal harbors and bays which contribute 20% of the total nitrogen into the Sound.  Excess nitrogen contributes to harmful algae blooms, fish kills, and mats of seaweed that plague coastal waters. This project will work with communities to set pollution reduction targets, identify sources of nitrogen in their local watershed, and select solutions to tackle the problem. The project will: 1) Convene local stakeholders to  develop a nitrogen action plan that supports community needs; 2) Use a nitrogen loading model data to build awareness of nitrogen pollution impacts from different local sources (wastewater, fertilizer etc.);  3) Solicit local feedback to refine local nitrogen loading model data; 4) Develop nitrogen reduction scenario maps to help residents visualize options to restore and protect the health of  local coastal waters; 5) Select priority options for nitrogen control activities that reduce nitrogen; and 6) Expand the Long Island Sound Clean Coastal Waters website. The project will produce a framework for municipal and watershed-level planning, decision-making and implementation that is useful Sound-wide.

Developing a Natural Resource and Watershed Plan for New London

Recipient: City of New London
LISFF Funds: $35,000
Matching Funds: $21,500
Total Project: $56,500
Project Area: City of New London

The City of New London situated on the Thames River and Long Island Sound is one of only three deep harbors in Connecticut. While the City is the state’s smallest comprised of only 5.7 land and 5.2 water square miles with ~130 acres of the area freshwater wetlands which provide flood, ecological, wildlife, nitrogen retention, and sediment trapping functions for the community. The most recent environmental inventory of the City’s land and water resources, including these wetlands, was published in 1991.  This inventory needs to be updated to address issues facing coastal communities including rising waters and flooding, and the greater frequency of 20- and 50-year storms.  The project will: 1) Engage the City’s Inland Wetlands Commission and Sustainability Committee to develop the planning process; 2) Research and evaluate current resource documents considering hydrology, soils, flora, and fauna; and identify information gaps; 3) Conduct multiple public sessions to gather information and feedback during plan development and draft plan release; 4) Deliver a· Final Natural Resources and Watershed Management Plan to be adopted by the City Council; and 5) Achieve Sustainability Certification through the Sustainable CT initiative which promotes the well-being of current and future residents, and supports efforts to protect the health of valuable water resources.  The plan will be implemented starting in 2020, and support the City’s coastal protection efforts long-term.

Water Quality Monitoring to Improve Fairfield County Waterways and Long Island Sound

Recipient: Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center
LISFF Funds: $74,493
Matching Funds: $59,594
Total Project: $134,087
Project Area: Belden Hill Brook, Deep Brook, Farm Creek, Muddy Brook, Pequonnock River, Pootatuck River, Pussy Willow Brook, Sasco Brook, Saugatuck River, and Silvermine River, Five Mile River Harbor, Norwalk Harbor, and Saugatuck Harbor

Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center, Inc. will collect water quality data on waterways currently listed as impaired for recreation and habitat in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The monitoring data will directly inform actions by local government to reduce sewage pollution entering  Long Island Sound.   The project will: 1) Conduct testing twice monthly at 10 waterways for fecal coliform, E. coli, and other parameters; 2) Conduct pollution track-down surveys upstream of sample locations with elevated bacteria concentrations to identify sources of sewage pollution; 3) Upload data into the US Environmental Protection Agency STORET database the nation’s largest source of water quality monitoring data; and 4) Work closely with municipal partners to eliminate identified sewage pollution sources. The project will result in a reduction of sewage entering the Long Island Sound, fewer days where beach and shellfish beds are closed, and cleaner waters for aquatic and marine habitats.

Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife

A Fishway for Pages Millpond Dam

Recipient: Connecticut Fund for the Environment
LISFF Funds: $249,947
Matching Funds: $250,000
Total Project: $499,947
Project Area: Farm River, North Branford

Connecticut Fund for the Environment will construct a fishway to unlock access to a historic 12.35 mile riverine migratory corridor for the first time in 300 years for alewife, blueback Herring, and American eel in North Branford, Connecticut. These corridors are river systems that drain to Long Island Sound. Migratory fish use these rivers to travel and dams can block their passage from the Sound to rivers to spawn.  A fishway installed downstream allowed fish to pass to the base of Pages Millpond Dam.  This project will provide access for fish over Pages Millpond Dam the last barrier to migration of diadromous fish on the Farm River.  The project will::1) Install a steepass fishway and construct a turning pool, concrete channel, and resting pool; 2) Formalize a Memorandum of Agreement with the dam owners and the Hammonasset Chapter of Trout Unlimited to operate and maintain the fishway; 3) Conduct meetings with local stakeholders about fishway construction at key construction milestones; 4) Engage the Connecticut Riverine Migratory Corridor Working Group to disseminate information about the project; 5) Deliver a celebration event with project partners including the: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, North Branford Land Trust, Trout Unlimited, and the dam owners. This new access will increase in the size of the adult fish run and double existing riverine spawning habitat. 

Hepburn Living Shoreline Project

Recipient: Lynde Point Land Trust
LISFF Funds: $250,000
Matching Funds: $477,438
Total Project: $727,438
Project Area: A 456 linear foot segment of coast on Long Island Sound east of the Katherine Hepburn Estate and west of the mouth of the Connecticut River, Borough of Fenwick, Old Saybrook

The Lynde Point Land Trust, Inc. will construct a .36 acre hybrid living shoreline comprised of stone sills and salt marsh on Long Island Sound in Fenwick, Connecticut.  The Hepburn Preserve, gifted to the Lynde Point Land Trust by the Katherine Hepburn Estate, has experienced storm-related erosion which may negatively impact community infrastructure, homes, and a nearby restored tidal marsh and associated wildlife. Living shorelines provide a natural alternative to ‘hard’ shoreline stabilization methods like bulkheads, and provide benefits such as buffering shoreline from waves and storms. The project will: 1) Install stone sills along the shoreline to provide a buffer to waves and establish new saltmarsh connecting with existing salt marsh; 2) Develop a  project monitoring plan to track the performance of the project; 3) Create a GIS Story Map about the project which combines maps with  text and images for the website; and communicate about the project via presentations, print media and field trips to reach 550 people;  4) Update the 2004 Ecological Management Plan for the Hepburn Preserve with a coastal protection and resilience component; and 5) Engage seven volunteers in project activities.  This project will advance the use of an innovative natural systems approach to coastal protection. Project partners include the: Borough of Fenwick, University of Connecticut, Sea Grant, and Connecticut River Conservancy.

A Fishway for the Railroad Pond Dam 

Recipient: Town of Berlin
LISFF Funds: $250,000
Matching Funds: $147,800
Total Project: $397,800
Project Area:   Mattabesset  River, Berlin

The Town of Berlin will install a fishway opening up 12 acres of pond and 0.3 miles of riverine migratory corridor for fish and American eel along the Mattabesset River, Berlin, Connecticut. These corridors are river systems that drain to Long Island Sound. Migratory fish use these rivers to travel and dams can block their passage from the Sound to rivers to spawn. The Railroad Pond Dam currently is a barrier to migration of river herring like alewife and blueback herring, and sea lamprey. These fish are able to reach the dam as a result of construction of a fishway at the StanChem Dam in 2012.  The StanChem Dam fishway has been a great success providing for 50 miles of passage for fish migration.  This project will address the Railroad Pond Dam barrier to passage. The project will: 1) Install a steeppass fishway and resting pool to support downstream migratory fish passage.  Near the entrance of the fishway will be an eel pass ramp and holding tank to allow for the collection, counting and hand passage of eels that cannot easily surmount the dam; and 2) Communicate about the project in a variety of ways including public meetings, information on the Town’s website and Facebook pages, and with a sign about the project. The project will restore the alewife run to its full historic range on the Mattabesset River. Project partners include: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Inland Fisheries Division. 

Planning for Two Fish Passage Projects in Southeastern Connecticut

Recipient: Connecticut Fund for the Environment
LISFF Funds: $99,987
Matching Funds: $100,000
Total Project: $199,987
Project Area:  Whitford Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, a Mystic River tributary, Stonington; and Alewife Cove Dam, Fenger Brook, an Alewife Cove tributary, Waterford.         

Connecticut Fund for the Environment will develop engineered designs for two fishways at Whitford Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, a tributary of the Mystic River, Stonington; and Alewife Cove Dam, Fenger Brook, a tributary of Alewife Cove, Waterford. These two dams are barriers to migration along riverine migratory corridors preventing fish from accessing upstream spawning habitat. These corridors are river systems that drain to Long Island Sound. Migratory fish use these rivers to travel and dams can block their passage from the Sound to rivers to spawn. The project will: 1) Complete, permit-ready and construction-ready fish passage designs and consult with state and federal agencies about the designs and related permits; and 2) Conduct eight meetings with the 50+ public and local stakeholders including the Connecticut Riverine Migratory Corridor Working Group and the Alewife Cove Conservancy during the design process at key milestones to seek feedback and provide information about project progress, and efforts to restore fish passage in Southeastern Connecticut. The project planning will set the stage to provide 4.2 miles of access to spawning, rearing and refuge habitat along two riverine migratory corridors valuable to Long Island Sound diadromous and freshwater fish such as alewife, blueback herring, brook trout, American eel, and American shad.  

Shewville Dam Fishway Design Project

Recipient: Eastern Connecticut Conservation District
LISFF Funds: $74,133
Matching Funds: $80,000
Total Project: $154,133
Project Area: Shewville Dam, Shewville Brook, Ledyard

The Eastern Connecticut Conservation District, Inc. will prepare an engineered plan suitable for permitting and bidding to support development of a fishway on the Shewville Dam, Poquetanuck Brook watershed a tidewater tributary of the Thames River, Ledyard, Connecticut. Currently, alewives can get past the first two dams along this riverine migratory corridor because of prior work to open them up to fish migration. These migratory corridors are river systems that drain to Long Island Sound. Migratory fish use these rivers to travel and dams can block their passage from the Sound to rivers to spawn. A fishway is needed to get fish around the Shewville dam allowing them to reach upstream lakes. The project will: 1) Prepare topography and wetland surveys, hydrology & hydraulic analysis, and a fishway design and information required for permits; and 2) Share information about the project on the organization and Thames River Basin Partnership website and Facebook pages. The project aims to provide a design to support installation of a fishway that would reconnect 4.3 river miles and 152 acres of lake for alewife migration to all historic upstream habitat.

EDUCATING TO ENGAGE SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT COMMUNITIES

Urban Oases: Community-based Education, Conservation, and Outreach to Enhance Habitats around Long Island Sound

Recipient: The National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut)
LISFF Funds: $44,918
Matching Funds: $46,426
Total Project: $91,344
Project Area: City of New Haven, and Town of Hamden

National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut) will provide opportunities for children and their families, teachers and school staff, and local residents to participate in habitat enhancement, citizen science, and green job skills training as they learn about the value of urban green spaces for wildlife and to improve the environmental health of Long Island Sound. This project will: 1) Plant native vegetation on 10 acres to benefit migrating birds at 29 Unban Oases locations in schools and at parks; 2) Conduct outreach activities and events such as bird walks and public workshops about habitat and water quality issues affecting the Sound for 11,000 people;  3) Provide 40 sessions  training ~1,000 volunteers to participate in habitat enhancement projects in their communities; and  4) Create 10 websites/social media tools, including four Story Maps to share images and text about the habitat enhancement and shorebird health, one GIS planning tool and one Urban Oases Priority Map to be used in outreach efforts to raise awareness about urban green spaces in the area and their impact watershed health, habitat and people.

Rain and Pollinator Gardens for Schools in the Connecticut River Estuary

Recipient: Connecticut Audubon Society
LISFF Funds: $15,443
Matching Funds: $12,014
Total Project: $27,457
Project Area: Essex, Deep River and Chester

Connecticut Audubon Society will guide installation of rain and native pollinator gardens at elementary schools in the Connecticut River Estuary region.  Each school will be located in Connecticut’s Regional School District #4, which is within 10 miles of the Long Island Sound. Students will lead the design and installation of their own safe, accessible schoolyard features to study issues affecting the Sound’s water quality, biodiversity, and ecology. The project will: 1) Conduct classroom-based lessons for 600 students grades K-6, focusing on the Sound’s watershed, and biodiversity with an emphasis on the estuarine community’s role in  its health; 2) Design, prepare sites, and plant ~900 native plants to encourage the return of pollinating insects (butterflies, bees) and other wildlife to the schoolyards increasing biodiversity within a  habitat corridor and the gardens; and 3) Introduce students and teachers to data gathering tools and techniques to investigate and compare indicators of environmental health before and after garden installation. The project will reduce the schoolyards’ ecological footprint through the enhancement of 300 square feet of schoolyard to rain and pollinator gardens.

Schooner Coastal Exploration, Stewardship, and Environmental Education about Long Island Sound

Recipient: New Haven Land Trust
LISFF Funds: $45,000
Matching Funds: $79,000
Total Project: $124,000
Project Area: Long Wharf Nature Preserve, Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve and New Haven Harbor, New Haven

New Haven Land Trust will expand its Schooner coastal exploration, stewardship and environmental education programs about Long Island Sound targeting underserved families in the Greater New Haven area, Connecticut. The programs will focus on the natural coastal ecosystem and stewardship of the Sound with activities occurring at the Long Wharf Nature Preserve, New Haven Harbor, and during New Haven neighborhood events. Hands-on activities include horseshoe crab tagging, touch tanks, seining and coastal stewardship and clean-up. The project will: 1) Engage 200 summer camp participants in one-week sessions targeting low-income, urban New Haven youth; 2) Implement six programs for in New Haven public schools to increase Long Island Sound environmental and conservation-related instruction. The programs will consist of three interactive visits to the Long Wharf Nature Preserve; and 3) Implement ten events to engage the public in appreciation of the Sound. The project will reach 800 members of the public and prevent 400 pounds of floatable debris from entering the Sound. Project partners include: the Sound School, Solar Youth and Conte Magnet School.

Stormwater Management Programs to Improve Water Quality in New Haven and Long Island Sound

Recipient: Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
LISFF Funds: $14,398
Matching Funds: $43,335
Total Project: $57,733
Project Area: Newhallville Neighborhood, New Haven

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven (NHS) will provide environmental education about stormwater management, and alternative, non-toxic landscaping for residents to help reduce stormwater pollution affecting the West River and Long Island Sound. The West River has water quality problems including stormwater pollution due, in part, to surrounding residential neighborhoods served by  antiquated combined sewer systems with numerous outfalls into the river. Resident interest has galvanized local government to prioritize the reduction of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) (discharges of storm and wastewater, toxics and debris) pollution. NHS, which rehabilitates houses in the neighborhood and engages neighbors in quality-of-life issues, will increase hands-on resident education about the issue in the community. This project will: 1) Offer four classes, including two classes led by instructors certified by the Northeast Organic Farming Association presenting non-toxic landscaping alternatives to reduce sources of nitrogen pollution from fertilizers and pesticides; and two stormwater management classes focused on residential users; 2) Host 30 community-based events that will engage 154 volunteers for activities such as community garden days, and street clean-up days; 3) Remove invasive plants on ~ nine acres of public land; and 4) Collect 1,800 pounds of floatable trash from the neighborhood. 

Engaging New Landscaping Professionals in Non-toxic Landscaping Practices for Long Island Sound

Recipient: The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $44,937
Matching Funds: $23,200
Total Project: $68,137
Project Area: Goodwin College, East Hartford

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut will increase the amount of resources about  non-toxic landscaping available to English and Spanish-speaking landscape professionals in the Long Island Sound watershed of Connecticut. The Sound suffers from excess nitrogen and toxic pollution flowing into its waters from fertilizers and pesticides applied on landscaping and lawns. This pollution causes algal blooms, dead zones and declining marine life. One means of reducing this type of pollution is to eliminate synthetic chemicals from lawn and landscaping. While “green” landscaping is becoming more popular, there is still a lack of trained landscapers who offer such services, in part, due to limited training. Because Spanish speakers make up 35% of the landscape and lawn care services industry in the United States, this project will increase the amount of education available to these professionals. This project will: 1) Conduct a survey of landscapers to assess those already practicing organic and non-toxic landscaping and the percentage land in their care maintained with conventional landscaping practices; 2) Develop methods of transitioning alternative practices that decrease common fertilizer and pesticide use;  and 3) Provide two, four-day training sessions; one in Spanish and one in English. The project will shift current landscaping to an approach that reduces chemical runoff into Long Island Sound.

Sound Discoveries – Education through Exploration

Recipient: Sea Research Foundation (Mystic Aquarium)
LISFF Funds: $8,651
Matching Funds: $5,973
Total Project: $14,624
Project Area: Mystic Aquarium, Denison Pequotesepos Nature Center and Avalonia Land Conservancy, Mystic

Sea Research Foundation (Mystic Aquarium) will host a two-day experiential and hands-on education program to immerse 500 students and families in the Sound habitats in Mystic, Connecticut. A 2006 survey of New York and Connecticut residents living in the Sound watershed found people had low environmental knowledge about watersheds and pollution problems but a high belief they could change something about their everyday behavior to improve the Sound with younger residents as stand-outs in their belief  that they could make positive change.  The project is specifically designed to educate students and their families about the Sound environment and actions they may take to improve it.  The project will: 1) Conduct a Long Island Sound Day for students from pre-school to high school, and a day for families and learners of all ages; 2) Send participants on a journey of discovery to explore preserves and public land which serve as experiential learning laboratories about the Sound; 3) Engage participants in hands-on activities at four guided learning stations (Freshwater Ecocystems, Trash Survey, Salt Marshes, Estuary Exploration) to learn about an ecosystem, its inhabitants, human impacts and steps that can be taken to reduce impacts; 4) Conduct visits the Discover Long Island Sound interactive exhibit.  Use the Mystic Aquarium Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers to generate a Long Island Sound Day social media campaign focused around the community event.

new york

 CLEAN WATER AND HEALTHY WATERSHEDS

Sustainability Planning for the Town of Harrison

Recipient: Town of Harrison
LISFF  Funds: $45,000
Matching Funds: $45,000
Total Project: $90,000
Project Area: Town of Harrison, New York. 

The Town of Harrison, New York will develop a drainage manual to improve current stormwater management. The Town is a developed and highly populated municipality which suffers from localized flooding, and produces stormwater runoff into Long Island Sound. The formerly forested parts of Harrison have been replaced by buildings and streets reducing the area where infiltration into the ground can take place increasing the amount of stormwater flowing into the Sound. The proposed planning project involves the development of a framework which will identify the underlying roots of the problems, beneficial changes to local policies and regulations, and present low impact development Green Infrastructure projects (GI) (i.e., rain gardens, bioswales etc.) for future implementation. GI projects help reduce stormwater into waterways. The project will: 1) Identify the current capacity to convey storm water, identify deficiencies, and recommend actions and policies; 2) Develop concept plans and cost estimates for GI projects to address stormwater runoff; 3) Identify existing local stormwater related policies and consider new codes and local laws to improve current conditions; and 4) Conduct two public meetings and outreach (via press, social media and website) to obtain public opinion for the manual.  The project will provide a pathway forward to support sustainable development, and identify projects and actions that will foster reductions in stormwater runoff affecting the Sound.

Hempstead Harbor 2019 Water Quality Monitoring Program XI

Recipient: The Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff

LISFF  Funds: $75,000
Matching Funds: $65,484
Total Project: $140,484
Project Area: Hempstead Harbor, Nassau, County

The Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff, New York will monitor water quality pollution indicators to assess bacteria levels that could affect public health and use of waters (i.e., swimming and shellfish harvesting) in the harbor located in Nassau County, New York. The project will: 1) Collect water quality data.; 2) Track improving and declining water quality; 3) Disseminate information to 123 individuals, local governments state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, the Long Island Sound Study and its Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the Long Island Regional Planning Council, and the public  about conditions in Hempstead Harbor;  and 4) Upload data into the US Environmental Protection Agency STORET database the nation’s largest source of water quality monitoring data.

Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife

Habitat Restoration Planning and Environmental Stewardship at Hallock State Park Preserve

Recipient: Group for the East End
LISFF Funds: $67,542
Matching Funds: $101,371
Total Project: $168,913
Project Area:  Hallock State Park Preserve, Riverhead

Group for the East End will conduct outreach and education programs, environmental stewardship, and habitat restoration planning at the Hallock State Park Preserve, Riverhead, New York. Hallock State Park Preserve is one of 33 Stewardship Areas around Long Island Sound that provide significant biological, scientific, and recreational value to surrounding communities. Opened in 2017, the park has attracted over 22,000 visitors who enjoyed its 225 acres on the Sound.  This new park faces challenges from prior land uses including deforestation, erosion of unique natural areas, invasive plant species, and loss of shorebird habitat. The project will: 1) Develop a Habitat Restoration Plan to establish restoration goals and management for 67 acres representing five ecological communities-coastal plain pond, and maritime beach, dune, shrubland and forest; 2) Remove invasive plants from four acres of maritime shrubland and  maritime forest habitat; 3) Monitor piping plover nests; and 4) Conduct visitor outreach about the value of habitat restoration; and engage ~1,200 members of the public and partners in 40 environmental education programs and stewardship projects. Partners: Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, Hallockville Museum Farm, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, NY State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and North Fork Audubon Society.

Planning and Coordination for Coastal Forest Habitat Management in Bronx Park

Recipient: City Parks Foundation
LISFF Funds: $99,810
Matching Funds: $76,000
Total Project: $175,810
Project Area: Bronx Park, Bronx

City Parks Foundation will develop a management plan for 170 acres of coastal maritime forest to guide restoration activities over a five-year period in the Bronx Park along the Bronx River a subwatershed of Long Island Sound.  Prior to 2018, there was no comprehensive plan to manage the 7,300 acres of forested areas in New York City (NYC) parks. Additionally, the 718-acre Bronx Park is managed, in parts, by five organizations including NYC Parks, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo among others.  This planning project will align with the new city-wide Forest Management Framework  for New York City which is developing a strategy for forest management in parks; and establish coordinated coastal forest restoration activities in the Bronx Park. The project will: 1) Produce a management plan including climate-adapted planting lists, and a menu of forest restoration and management projects and costs; 2) Engage local and regional partners in development of the plan; 3) Conduct five events to explain the value of the proposed restoration, and provide information on the value of coastal habitats to the Bronx River and the Sound; 4) Produce a quality assurance plan for the forest monitoring program Rapid Site Assessment tool; 5) Conduct training in forest monitoring for 150 participants from the five partners; and 6) Engage the Long Island Sound Study Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Workgroup in the planning.

BI-STATE (CT & NY)

Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife

Producing and Implementing a Community-supported Long Island Sound Blue Plan

Recipient: The Nature Conservancy-Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $44,986
Matching Funds: $51,904
Total Project: $96,890
Project Area: Coastal communities in CT and NY that border Long Island Sound

The Nature Conservancy-Connecticut will engage stakeholders, scientists, and government to finalize the Long Island Sound Blue Plan and Implementation Guide in Connecticut and New York.  The plan looks at human activities in the marine environment to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives, and to protect and restore Long Island Sound. Because the Sound hosts diverse uses such as recreation, aquaculture, marine trades, transportation, and fish and wildlife habitat, blue plans are a tool to manage different uses. The plans consider all uses of the Sound to provide decision-makers with information about its geography, environment, and current uses; and helps prepare for new uses.  A key tenet of the planning is robust stakeholder engagement to ensure openness and that local knowledge is part of the plan.  The project will support the public process needed for plan finalization. The project will: 1) Prepare an outreach strategy to target community interest groups, engage public meetings, and secure public comment; 2) Present the draft plan at 11 meetings to collect feedback to inform plan revision; 3) Prepare a summary of changes to the draft plan; 4) Conduct outreach to all levels of government to get feedback, discuss how local programs and policies could benefit from the plan, and summarize feedback to  enhance plan usability; 5) Revise the draft plan to maximize consensus; and  6) Conduct six outreach events to present the final plan to build community support.

Upper New England States (MA, NH, & VT)

 CLEAN WATER AND HEALTHY WATERSHEDS

Enhancing Nitrogen Removal at the South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Plant (MA)

Recipient: Town of South Hadley
LISFF Funds: $145,000
Matching Funds: $145,000
Total Project: $290,000
Project Area: South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Facility, Chicopee, Massachusetts

The Town of Hadley will replace a mechanical aerator to provide extra oxygen needed to improve the nitrification process at the South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Plant, Hadley Massachusetts.  The South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Plant treats an average of 2.4 million gallons of wastewater each day from neighboring communities.  This treated sewage discharges to the Connecticut River and ultimately to Long Island Sound.  The plant’s aeration tanks were constructed in 1980 and the aerators were not designed to remove nitrogen.  Excess nitrogen causes harmful algal blooms, depletion of dissolved oxygen, poor water clarity, loss of submerged aquatic vegetation, and other environmental impairments in the Sound.  The new, larger aerator will decrease a source of nitrogen discharge into to upper basin area of the Long Island Sound watershed by an estimated 14,000 pounds of nitrogen annually.

Enhancing Nitrogen Removal at the Springfield Regional Wastwater Treatment Facility (MA)

Recipient: Springfield Water and Sewer Commission
LISFF Funds: $51,146
Matching Funds: $30,000
Total Project: $81,146
Project Area:  Connecticut River, Springfield Regional Wastwater Treatment Facility Springfield, Massachusetts

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission will install nitrogen analyzers and sensors which will produce real-time data to adjust and improve their overall biological wastewater treatment process that removes nitrogen during times of treatment process “upsets” caused by factors like high water flows or low temperatures at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, Massachusetts. The plant is the second largest wastewater treatment facility in New England discharging an average of 36 million-gallon-per-day of treated effluent into the Connecticut River which flows into Long Island Sound.   Wastewater treatment facilities contribute nitrogen to the Sound.  Although nitrogen loading has decreased as a result of plant upgrades around the Sound excess nitrogen remains an issue and causes harmful algal blooms and other environmental problems.  The project will improve nitrogen removal with a low-cost retrofit. The project will: 1) Install analyzers and an integrator to program the system to transmit, save and retrieve data; 2) Install the sensors and analyzers into the control and data acquisition system at the facility; 3) Train technical staff; 4) Commence nitrogen monitoring; 5) Optimize biological process operations using data from analyzers and sensors during upset events; and 6) Report results after one year of operation.

Innovative Urine Diversion Technology to Reduce Nitrogen in the Long Island Sound Watershed (VT)

Recipient: The Rich Earth Institute
LISFF Funds: $115,720
Matching Funds: $156,150
Total Project: $271,870
Project Area:   Five urine diversion replication sites around Windham County, Vermont including: Hermit Thrush Brewery, Camp Waubanong, Green Mountain Girls Camp, The Grammar School and One Connecticut River Watershed Village

The Rich Earth Institute will install technology to divert urine from waste  to be recycled into sanitized fertilizer, and applied to hay fields in Windham County, Vermont. A large amount of nitrogen discharged into Long Island Sound comes from residential septic system leaching into soils. Excess nitrogen represents a threat to the health of the Sound. Approximately 50% of Vermont’s homes use septic systems which are not designed to remove nitrogen. One alternative to costly upgrades of home systems is to install technology that helps prevent leaching. The project will: 1) Assess and install urine diversion technology at five sites; 3) Select a Windham County village as the residential installation site; 2) Pump-out, store, sanitize, transport, and apply urine as fertilizer; 3) Document nitrogen reclaimed by: type of diversion fixture, decrease in nitrogen volume from sites before and after installation, urine volume sanitized, fertilizer volume, and acres of fertilized fields; 4) Document challenges, economic and technical, to scaling-up the diversion technology, and collect information from practitioners about practical use of these systems; 5) Conduct outreach about nitrogen, urine diversion, and waterways; and 6) Showcase the project in press, electronic media, tours; and in a presentation to the Long Island Sound  Study.  The project will advance a technology as an alternative to current decentralized and centralized sanitation management.

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