On December 4, 2002, the Long Island Sound Study Policy Committee met at the Norwalk Aquarium in Connecticut to sign a new Long Island Sound Agreement. The vision for this Agreement is a Long Island Sound restored to ecological health by 2014, the 400th Anniversary of Adrian Block’s Exploration of Long Island Sound. How do we make progress toward that vision? I believe it requires us to set clear goals and targets, and then challenge and engage everyone — federal, state, interstate, and local governments, businesses, schools and universities, and citizens — around the Sound to work together to meet them. This issue of UPDATE contains the Long Island Sound 2003 Agreement and articles explaining the background and significance of some of the targets the agreement contains.
Why pursue a Long Island Sound Agreement when we already have a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for Long Island Sound? First, it reaffirms the strong, bi-state support for implementing the plan that was expressed by Governor Rowland and Governor Pataki when they signed the 1996 Long Island Sound Agreement. Second, no document is static. Using the CCMP as a blueprint, the LISS has continued to refine and add detail to commitments and priorities, most recently when adopting specific targets and time frames for nitrogen reduction and habitat restoration in 1998. The Long Island Sound 2003 Agreement will continue this process by setting additional targets and time frames for addressing toxic contaminants and pathogens, watershed management, preserving open space, protecting living resources and their habitats, and community involvement and education. Third, the 2003 Agreement focuses on results, defining desired outcomes in measurable, trackable terms. It will require the LISS to link what we do — cleanup actions, studies, monitoring, and public education — directly to achieving results and making progress toward our goals. This is what every successful organization strives to do.
To view the full Winter/Spring 2003 newsletter, download the pdf document