FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec 7, 2020
Long Island Sound Watershed, New York (December 7, 2020) – Today, top federal and state environmental officials from New England and New York announced 38 grants totaling $3.8 million to local government, nongovernmental organizations, and community groups to improve the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound.
Work funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) has shown how projects led by local groups and communities make a big difference in improving water quality and restoring habitat around the Long Island Sound watershed. This grant program combines funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).
“EPA is proud to engage local, state and federal partners to seek out and implement innovative ways to restore and protect the Long Island Sound,” said EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “We have the opportunity to continue supporting and building on the hard-earned success in restoring the Long Island Sound over these past years. From reducing nitrogen going into the Sound, restoring nearly 1,625 acres of habitat and reopening 317 miles of river habitat to fish, our collaborative progress is ongoing. Prospects of increased green infrastructure, improved water quality and engaging educational programs assure long-lasting and sustainable use for generations to come.”
“Long Island Sound is vital to local communities, economies and ecosystems, and these grants will greatly benefit the Sound for years to come,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. “Protecting and restoring Long Island Sound requires a watershed-wide approach and EPA is proud to again support diverse and innovative projects in five of the states that comprise the Sound’s watershed.”
The LISFF 2020 grants will reach more than 670,000 residents through environmental education programs and conservation projects. Water quality improvement projects will treat 5.4 million gallons of stormwater, install 23,000-square-feet of green infrastructure, and prevent 3,000 pounds of nitrogen from entering Long Island Sound. The projects will also open 3.7 river miles and restore 108 acres of coastal habitat for fish and wildlife. The grants are matched by $4.6 million from the grantees themselves, resulting in $8.4 million in funding for conservation projects around the Long Island Sound watershed of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
“The Long Island Sound is one of our most important natural treasures, which is why we must do everything possible to protect and preserve it,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “I want to congratulate all the grant recipients whose vital work through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund will help protect the long-term health of the Sound and its surrounding communities. I was proud to sponsor legislation in the Senate that reauthorized the EPA’s Long Island Sound programs to ensure this funding continues, and will continue to work with my colleagues to uplift and expand the positive impact everyone’s participation in this critical effort will have on the Sound for generations to come.”
Representative Rosa DeLauro, Co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, added: “The Long Island Sound is one of our most treasured natural resources, and it is vital that we continue to support programs and services that maintain its health and vitality. Having grown up on its shores, the Sound has always held a special place with me, and I am so proud to have the opportunity to work to ensure that its beaches and waters remain places for children and families to enjoy. We have made extraordinary strides, but issues with sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, and other climate change issues challenge us to do more – and so we will. As one of the Long Island Sound Caucus leaders, and the incoming Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which is the committee that has jurisdiction over all discretionary funding, I am thrilled to have helped provide this funding for a revitalized Long Island Sound. I remain committed to working with NFWF and EPA and with my Congressional colleagues, and the many Long Island Sound advocates here today doing this critical conservation work.”
“The Long Island Sound is a regional and national treasure, as well as a critical economic, recreational, and environmental resource. The $3.8 million investment in these 38 programs throughout the Long Island Sound Watershed will allow us to continue to improve the health and vitality of the Sound,“ said Representative Lee Zeldin, Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus. “These community projects will make a real difference in continuing our progress towards cleaning up Long Island Sound. The partnerships funded by today’s grants show our commitment to the health of the Sound and to ensuring that our children and grandchildren can enjoy it for generations to come.”
“In the last 15 years, we have made incredible strides reducing nitrogen loads, restoring habitat, improving water quality, and involving and educating the public about the Long Island Sound. That progress is a direct result of smart investments and an all hands-on deck approach from stakeholders. This $3.8 million investment shows we are committed to protecting the future health and waterways of the Long Island Sound,” said Representative Thomas Suozzi, Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus. “The Long Island Sound is our ‘National Park.’ I grew up swimming and fishing here, and I’ve raised my children in and around the bays and harbors of the Long Island Sound. Preserving and protecting our most precious resource has, and always will be, a priority of mine. As Co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, I have helped increase funding for the Long Island Sound by 500% since I have been in Congress and I will keep fighting to protect the Sound and all its beauty.”
“Estuaries and their surrounding lands and waters represent some of the most productive ecosystems in the world,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Through 15 years of grant-making, the Long Island Sound Futures Fund has supported projects to improve the Sound by fostering environmental stewardship and public awareness and education, restoring habitat for fish and wildlife, preventing pollution, and enhancing the resilience of coastal communities.”
The Long Island Sound Study initiated the LISFF in 2005 through the EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. Prior to this year’s grants, the LISFF invested $23 million in 450 projects. The program has generated an additional $40 million in grantee match, for a total conservation impact of $63 million for regional and local projects. The projects have added 105 river miles for fish passage, restored 773 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat, treated 200 million gallons of pollution, and educated and engaged 3 million people in protection and restoration of the Sound. For more information about LISFF accomplishments follow the link to Long Island Sound 15 Years of Conservation Success.
“Investing in our coastal marshes pays off — they protect property and infrastructure from flooding, provide clean water, and support fishery, recreation and tourism industries,” said Sharon Marino, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North Atlantic-Appalachian assistant regional director. “We’re pleased to contribute funding to projects this year that will also help the saltmarsh sparrow, a bird whose drastic declines demand urgent efforts to save our salt marshes. Together, we can begin to turn the tide for this species and others.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The Long Island Sound Futures Fund supports strategic projects identified by local communities and organizations dedicated to promoting the protection of the sound’s waters and the diverse ecosystems it supports. These grants complement New York State’s and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comprehensive agenda to improve water quality across Long Island through innovative initiatives and significant investments to reduce and remove excessive levels of nitrogen from the Sound to replenish oxygen, restore fisheries, and repair tidal marshes that will strengthen coastal protections and bolster resiliency. DEC is proud to partner with our state, federal, and local partners to preserve and protect Long Island Sound’s incredible natural resources and unique habitats.”
“Connecticut DEEP is committed to preserving and protecting Long Island Sound and the rivers that flow to it for the benefit of all who live, work, and recreate in its watershed,” said Katie Dykes, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “This year, we are honored to celebrate the awarding of over $1.8 million in grants to 16 recipients in Connecticut, which also leverage over $1.45 million in local funding. These projects will protect and improve the health of Long Island Sound by promoting habitat restoration, equitable access to the outdoors, sustainable resilient communities, and water quality improvements.”
Long Island Sound is an estuary that provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people while also providing habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 species of fish and dozens of species of migratory birds.
The grant projects contribute to a healthier Long Island Sound for everyone, from nearby area residents to those at the furthest reaches of the Sound. All 9 million people who live, work and play in the watershed impacting the Sound can benefit from and help build on the progress that has already been made.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the Long Island Sound Study
The Long Island Sound Study, developed under the EPA’s National Estuary Program, is a cooperative effort between the EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore the Sound and its ecosystem. To learn more about the Long Island Sound Study, visit www.longislandsoundstudy.net.
LONG ISLAND SOUND FUTURES FUND 2020 PROJECTS
Read full descriptions of these projects at:
GRANTS IN NEW YORK
Project Title: Planning to Enhance Coastal Resiliency with Tidal Marsh Restoration at Sunken Meadow Park
Grantee: National Audubon Society (Audubon New York)
Project Area: Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $175,409Grantee Matching Funds: $88,496Total Conservation Impact: $263,905
Conduct a site assessment and develop a design to restore salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park in New York.
Project Title: A Green Schoolyard at PS 107X: Providing Community Green Space and Improving Water Quality
Grantee: Trust for Public Land
Project Area: Public School 107X, Bronx, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $242,371Grantee Matching Funds: $1.73 millionTotal Conservation Impact: $1.97 million
Construct green infrastructure on a playground at Public School 107X in the Bronx, New York.
Project Title: Installation of a Nitrogen Removing Biofilter at Frank Melville Memorial Park
Grantee: Frank Melville Memorial Foundation
Project Area: Frank Melville Memorial Park, Setauket, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $29,987Grantee Matching Funds: $24,525Total Conservation Impact: $54,512
Install an innovative onsite wastewater treatment system in the Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket, New York.
Project Title: A Watershed Plan for the Hutchinson River-Westchester County
Grantee: Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound
Project Area: Hutchison River watershed (Scarsdale, Eastchester, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon and Pelham), Westchester County, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $200,000Grantee Matching Funds: $100,000Total Conservation Impact: $300,000Develop a watershed plan for the Hutchison River watershed in Westchester County, New York.
Project Title: Green Infrastructure at the Leeds Pond Preserve and Science Museum of Long Island to Improve Water Quality in Long Island Sound
Grantee: Science Museum of Long Island
Project Area: Plandome Manor, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $46,021Grantee Matching Funds: $49,180Total Conservation Impact: $95,201
Design and install a green infrastructure demonstration at the Leeds Pond Preserve, home of the Science Museum of Long Island, Plandome Manor, New York.
Project Title: Long Island Sound Environmental Education Series
Grantee: Town of Brookhaven
Project Area: Cedar Beach and Mt. Sinai Harbor, Mt. Sinai, West Meadow Beach, Setauket, and libraries in the Town of Brookhaven, New York
LISFF Funds: $8,799Grantee Matching Funds: $4,450Total Conservation Impact: $13,249
Provide a Long Island Sound environmental education series in the Town of Brookhaven, New York.
Project Title: Be a Good Egg: Share the Shore with Shorebirds-IV
Project Area: Long Island Sound watershed of New York
LISFF Funds: $47,563Grantee Matching Funds: $47,911Total Conservation Impact: $95,475
Deliver the “Be a Good Egg,” environmental education program in the Long Island Sound watershed of New York.
Project Title: Sound In! Community Estuary Days on the Bronx Shores of Long Island Sound
Grantee: Waterfront Alliance
Project Area: Clason Point, Castle Hill, Shorehaven and Soundview, Bronx, New York
LISFF Funds: $30,000Grantee Matching Funds: $32,225Total Conservation Impact: $62,225
Deliver educational programs and festivals about Long Island Sound in the Bronx, New York.
Project Title: Developing a Long Island Sound Student Action Plan
Grantee: Citizens Campaign Fund the Environment
Project Area: Long Island Sound watershed, New York
LISFF Funds: $65,500Grantee Matching Funds: $40,000Total Conservation Impact: $105,500
Deliver an educational program about challenges to restoration and protection of the health and living resources Long Island Sound at four high schools on Long Island, New York.
Project Title: Sound Effects: A Public Conversation Education Series-III
Grantee: The Whaling Museum Society
Project Area: Cold Spring Harbor, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $9,940Grantee Matching Funds: $5,550Total Conservation Impact: $15,490
Deliver a public education series with hands-on conservation-based activities to inform people about the effects of pollution on Long Island Sound in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
Project Title: Boogie Down to the Sound – A Celebration of Long Island Sound
Grantee: State University of New York (SUNY) – Maritime College
Project Area: SUNY- Maritime College, Bronx, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $9,025Grantee Matching Funds: $14,179Total Conservation Impact: $23,204
Host a two-day hands-on on-the-water event at SUNY-Maritime College in the Bronx, New York.
Project Title: Viva La Sound! Cultivating Community and Environmental Stewardship on City Island in the Bronx
Grantee: City Island Oyster Reef
Project Area: Eastchester Bay and City Island Harbor, Bronx, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $8,444Grantee Matching Funds: $25,565Total Conservation Impact: $34,009
Host a public environmental awareness program kicking off with “Viva la Sound,” a Long Island Sound appreciation festival followed by educational workshops for adults, students and teachers at City Island in the Bronx, New York
Project Title: Hempstead Harbor 2021 Water Quality Monitoring Program
Grantee: The Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff
Project Area: Hempstead Harbor, Nassau, County, New York
Grantee Matching Funds: $81,296
Total Conservation Impact: $156,296Conduct water quality monitoring in Hempstead Harbor, Nassau County, New York.
Project Title: Project Water DROP (Detecting River Outfalls and Pollutants)
Grantee: Bronx River Alliance
Project Area: Bronx River, Bronx and Westchester County, New York
LISFF Grant Funds: $49,232Grantee Matching Funds: $37,800Total Conservation Impact: $87,032
Monitor water quality along the entire Bronx River in the Bronx and Westchester Counties, New York.
Project Title: Stakeholder Engagement and Planning for Eelgrass Protection on Fishers Island
Grantee: Henry L. Ferguson Museum
Project Area: Fishers Island, New York and New London County, Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $44,798Grantee Matching Funds: $33,661Total Conservation Impact: $78,459
Deliver an education program to stakeholder communities presenting scenarios for eelgrass protection at Fishers Island, New York and New London, Connecticut.
Project Title: Deploying a Nitrogen Reclamation Project in the Long Island Sound Watershed
Grantee: Rich Earth Institute
Project Area: Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, Franklin County, Massachusetts and Cheshire County, New Hampshire
LISFF Grant Funds: $96,734Grantee Matching Funds: $167,500Total Conservation Impact: $264,234
Enhance the deployment of nitrogen reclamation technology in Windham County, Vermont, Franklin County, Massachusetts and Cheshire County, New Hampshire.
GRANTS IN CONNECTICUT
Project Title: Restoring Great Meadows Marsh on Long Island Sound
Grantee: National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut)
Project Area: Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $499,974Grantee Matching Funds: $500,249Total Conservation Impact: $1,000,243
Restore 40 acres of salt marsh and other coastal habitats at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge’s Great Meadows Marsh in Stratford, Connecticut.
Project Title: Fish Passage on the Bulkley Pond Dam
Grantee: Aspetuck Land Trust
Project Area: Bulkley Pond Dam, Sasco Brook, Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $143,300Grantee Matching Funds: $95,700Total Conservation Impact: $239,000
Remove a barrier to fish passage at Bulkley Pond Dam, Sasco Brook in Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut.
Project Title: Ensuring a Resilient Coastal Forest to Address Changing Climate in Southeastern Connecticut
Grantee: University of Connecticut
Project Area: Hoffman Evergreen Preserve, Stonington, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $57,144Grantee Matching Funds: $33,600Total Conservation Impact: $90,744
Deliver a comprehensive strategy of coastal forest management at the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve in Stonington, Connecticut.
Project Title: Restoration and Stewardship of Coastal Forest and Dune at the Smith Hubbell Wildlife Sanctuary
Grantee: Connecticut Audubon Society
Project Area: The Smith Hubbell Wildlife Sanctuary Milford, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $44,468Grantee Matching Funds: $45,474Total Conservation Impact: $89,942
Restore coastal beach/dune and forest habitat at the Smith Hubbell Wildlife Sanctuary, Milford Point, Connecticut.
Project Title: Planning for a “Nature Based” Living Shoreline at the Mouth of the Housatonic River
Grantee: Sacred Heart University
Project Area: Housatonic River, Stratford, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $67,610Grantee Matching Funds: $75,000Total Conservation Impact: $142,610
Create a permit-ready design for a living shoreline at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Stratford, Connecticut.
Project Title: Planning for a Nature-Like Fishway for Long Pond Dam
Project Area: Long Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, Ledyard, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $172,000Grantee Matching Funds: $85,964Total Conservation Impact: $257,964
Develop a plan to install fish passage on Long Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, Ledyard, Connecticut.
Project Title: Hepburn Living Shoreline Project
Grantee: Connecticut River Watershed Council, Inc.
Project Area: Borough of Fenwick, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $226,026Grantee Matching Funds: $175,000Total Conservation Impact: $401,026
Construct a living shoreline along a barrier spit on Long Island Sound in Fenwick, Connecticut.
Project Title: Rapid Action Plans to Deliver Green Infrastructure in Coastal Connecticut Communities
Project Area: Farm River, Branford River and Neck River watersheds, ConnecticutLISFF Funds: $272,376Grantee Matching Funds: $136,254
Total Conservation Impact: $408,630
Develop and implement five green infrastructure projects and provide guidance to local government in communities of the South-Central Basin of Connecticut.
Project Title: Watershed Planning to Reduce Water Pollution in the Pootatuck River Basin of Long Island Sound
Grantee: Town of Newtown
Project Area: Pootatuck River watershed, Newtown, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $29,216Grantee Matching Funds: $15,717Total Conservation Impact: $44,933
Develop a watershed plan for the Pootatuck watershed in Newtown, Connecticut.
Project Title: Still River Watershed Plan Implementation: Brookfield Public Works Stormwater Retrofit
Grantee: Town of Brookfield, Connecticut
Project Area: Brookfield, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $24,299Grantee Matching Funds: $13,150Total Conservation Impact: $37,458
Develop design plans and secure permits for a green infrastructure retrofit at the public works facility in Brookfield, Connecticut.
Project Title: Share the Shore with Shorebirds: A Coastal Stewardship Program
Project Area: Coastal Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $75,285Matching Funds: $77,168Total Conservation Impact: $152,453
Provide education and deliver targeted stewardship of American oystercatcher and other migratory shorebirds and habitat along Connecticut’s Long Island Sound coast.
Project Title: Community Conservation Stewardship in New Haven
Grantee: Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
Project Area: Newhallville neighborhood and Beaver Ponds Park, New Haven, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $17,812Grantee Matching Funds: $24,219Total Conservation Impact: $42,031
Conduct environmental education and community stewardship projects in New Haven, Connecticut.
Project Title: City of New London Watershed Management Plan
Grantee: City of New London, Connecticut
Project Area: New London, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $50,000Grantee Matching Funds: $50,000Total Conservation Impact: $100,000
Develop a watershed management plan in for New London, Connecticut.
Project Title: A Plastic Free Long Island Sound Program
Grantee: Sea Research Foundation
Project Area: The Mystic Aquarium and Groton, New London, Colchester, Stonington, and Norwich, Connecticut
LISFF Grant Funds: $48,042Grantee Matching Funds: $32,288Total Conservation Impact: $80,330
Conduct a Long Island Sound-based educational program about the impact of plastic pollution at the Mystic Aquarium and surrounding communities in Connecticut.
Project Title: Water Quality Monitoring to Improve Fairfield County Waterways and Long Island Sound-VI
Grantee: Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center
Project Location: Norwalk River Watershed, Connecticut
LISFF Funds: $73,890
Grantee Matching Funds: $56,646
Total Conservation Impact: $130,536
Conduct water quality monitoring to help improve nine waterways affected by pollution in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
GRANTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Project Title: Planning to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution and Improve Water Quality in Long Island Sound
Grantee: City of Chicopee
Project Area: Water Pollution Control Facility, Chicopee, Massachusetts
LISFF Grant Funds: $14,738Grantee Matching Funds: $14,737Total Conservation Impact: $29,475
Prepare a study to identify low-cost improvements to reduce nitrogen pollution from a water pollution control facility in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Project Title: Reducing Nitrogen into Long Island Sound at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility
Grantee: Springfield Water and Sewer Commission
Project Area: Springfield, Massachusetts
LISFF Funds: $290,385Matching Funds: $168,000Total Conservation Impact: $458,385
Install instruments to enhance nitrogen removal at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Project Title: Green Infrastructure to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution at Montague Town Hall
Grantee: Town of Montague, Planning Department
Project Area: Village of Turners Falls, Massachusetts
LISFF Grant Funds: $10,642Grantee Matching Funds: $5,899Total Conservation Impact: $16,541
Construct green infrastructure at Town Hall near the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.
GRANTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE & VERMONT
Project Title: Restoring Riverbanks to Reduce Nitrogen
Grantee: Connecticut River Watershed Council
Project Area: Upper Connecticut River in Coos County to Hinsdale in Cheshire County, New Hampshire
LISFF Grant Funds: $281,063Grantee Matching Funds: $281,900Total Conservation Impact: $532,963
Install bioengineered streambank stabilization and riparian restoration projects in Coos and Cheshire counties in New Hampshire.
Project Title: Planning for Pocket Wetland Restoration to Prevent Nitrogen Pollution from Farms
Grantee: Vermont Association of Conservation Districts
Project Area: Connecticut River Basin, Vermont
LISFF Grant Funds: $49,925Grantee Matching Funds: $49,925Total Conservation Impact: $99,850
Develop 14 watershed plans to identify high-priority areas to restore pocket wetlands in agricultural fields in Vermont’s Connecticut River Basin.
Project Title: Planning for Cover Cropping to Reduce Nitrogen
Grantee: Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District
Project Area: Upper Connecticut River Basin, Essex County, Vermont.
LISFF Grant Funds: $24,520Grantee Matching Funds: $24,776Total Conservation Impact: $49,296
Develop a cover cropping species mix, planting strategy and methods for monitoring reductions in nitrogen from farm runoff in Essex County, Connecticut.
Project Title: Incentivizing Ecological Restoration and Best Management Practices on Vermont Farmland
Grantee: Vermont Land Trust
Project Area: Connecticut River Watershed, Vermont
LISFF Grant Funds: $199,477Grantee Matching Funds: $125,000Total Conservation Impact: $324,477
Produce ecological assessments and riparian/wetland restoration plans for 12 farmland conservation projects and an associated plan for a market-based financing model in the Connecticut River Watershed in Vermont.