Robert Burg, Long Island Sound Study, [email protected]
Paul C. Focazio, Communications Manager, NYSG, [email protected], P: (631) 632-6910Judy Benson, Communications Coordinator, CTSG, [email protected], P: (860) 287-6426
Soundwide (March 2, 2023) – Long Island Sound water quality, salt marsh and public beach characteristics will be examined by marine and social scientists in nine research projects awarded funding by the Connecticut and New York Sea Grant programs (CTSG and NYSG respectively) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Study (LISS) Research Grant Program.
These new projects, which seek information that can be used to improve the conditions of the estuary for humans and wildlife, are being supported by $4.2 million in federal funds. That will be supplemented with matching funds of $2.1 million, for a total research package of more than $6.3 million.
The projects will be conducted over two years beginning this spring. The results will build on the substantial body of research funded through the LISS Research Grant Program administered by CTSG and NYSG since 2008 which has contributed to improved understanding and management of this nationally recognized estuary. Cumulatively, this represents the largest research investment in the Sound, which has been designated an estuary of national significance and one of the most valuable natural resources for both states.
The four CTSG-administered projects are:
The five NYSG-administered projects are:
In their words: Long Island Sound Research Projects:
From Sylvain De Guise, director of CTSG: “The continued partnership between Sea Grant programs and EPA will support a nice diversity of innovative and ambitious research projects to benefit both people and ecosystems of Long Island Sound, for mutual benefits—a wise investment, in my opinion.”
From Syma Ebbin, research coordinator for CTSG: “This competition was the largest ever administered, allowing the program to support these diverse, high-quality proposals, all with the capacity to enhance Long Island Sound’s management, health and public benefits.”
From Becky Shuford, director of NYSG: “New York Sea Grant is proud to continue this long-standing partnership with Connecticut Sea Grant and the EPA Long Island Sound Study. This year was the largest research competition to date resulting in the selection of nine excellent and diverse studies that will address priorities related to historical and current water quality conditions, habitat and fisheries health and restoration, and Sound access. The results will have direct benefit to the communities, coasts, critters, and waters of the Long Island Sound Estuary.”
From Lane Smith, research coordinator for NYSG: “This cohort of new research will build on the growing legacy of impactful research that benefits the Long Island Sound and its coastal communities. This continues the fruitful partnership between Sea Grant and the EPA Long Island Sound Study that benefits the LIS ecosystem.”
From David W. Cash, EPA New England regional administrator: “The Long Island Sound estuary is an essential ecosystem that supports communities, economies, and habitats across the region. I’m pleased to say these diverse and innovative Sea Grant projects include a focus on improving the Sound’s water quality, mitigating the effects of climate change, and helping local communities receive more equitable access to the Sound.”
From Lisa F. Garcia, EPA Region 2 regional administrator: “The Long Island Sound is in the center of one of the most densely populated coastlines in the country. This investment will help Long Island Sound communities combat sources of pollution that lead to closing public beaches or contaminating local fish. It will also help communities improve efforts to restore wetland habitat and increase resiliency to climate change by understanding the effects of sea level rise and warming temperatures on valuable marsh habitats. This funding will advance ecological research and play a critical role in improving water quality and reducing pollution, providing lasting results for the wildlife and wetlands in the Sound for years to come.”
Descriptions of Long Island Sound Study research grants since 2000 with final research reports are available on the Long Island Sound Study website.