Restore America’s Estuaries Announces Long Island Sound Community Impact Fund Subawardees

Program Aims to Build Capacity for Organizations and Fund Projects that Address Environmental Justice Issues Throughout the Long Island Sound

Contact: Brad Williams, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 8, 2024) – Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is pleased to announce subawardees for the Long Island Sound Community Impact Fund (LISCIF), which is a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with funding made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. A full list of subawardees is located on the LISCIF home page on the RAE website and the Long Island Sound Study LISCIF web page.

Each subawardee project was selected based on their ability to address challenges facing overburdened and underserved communities within the Long Island Sound estuary, managed under the Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). To support inclusion in the grant process, LISCIF provided capacity-building trainings and opportunities to applicants who historically have never received federal funds or needed additional support in navigating and managing a federal grant. By collaborating with community organizations throughout the process, funds are utilized to support projects in environmental justice areas while guiding applicants towards success within the grant cycle and long-term success in their mission.

The grant application was designed in two stages: 1) a Letter of Intent phase, 2) selected applicants were then invited to submit a Full Proposal. Applicants attended trainings on: Project Design & Building Partnerships, Grant Writing, Creating a Federal Budget, and Writing a Full Proposal to help support them in the application process. In addition, one-to-one calls were made available to provide further assistance as needed. In the first round of funding, 35 letters of intent were received from New York and Connecticut, requesting $2,583,323. Following recommendations from the review committee, 24 applicants submitted Full Proposals, requesting a total amount of $1,938,559.

LISCIF has $1.5 million to provide for the first round of funding, however, the total requested amount shows a greater need for funds and longer-term commitment to the Long Island Sound region. Restore America’s Estuaries has selected 18 subawardees for this round of funding, 11 organizations are from New York and 7 organizations are located in Connecticut. Grant sizes are up to $100,000.00 and subawardees have a year from July 2024 to complete their projects.

“RAE is proud to join with EPA and the Long Island Sound Study to support vital projects in the Long Island Sound region that will result in healthier communities and stronger community institutions,” said Daniel Hayden, President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is happy to announce more than $900,000 in grants to New York awardees, secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. The funding will advance environmental justice for underserved communities along this estuary by helping them prevent pollution, build resilience and cultivate sustainability,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia of EPA Region 2.

“The Long Island Community Impact Fund is a great example of how private organizations can come together with the federal government to affect change,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for this project will uplift underserved communities by giving them a seat at the decision-making table, resulting in a healthier, more resilient environment and community for years to come.”

“Preserving and protecting Long Island Sound is an environmental imperative. Thanks to the Long Island Sound Community Impact Fund, seven Connecticut organizations will receive federal funding to help with ecological health, shellfish restoration and other projects to protect this environmental treasure for future generations,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“The more effort we put into protecting the Long Island Sound, the more it will give back to us, economically and recreationally. These awards from the Long Island Sound Community Impact Fund will inject more than half a million dollars into educational workshops and skills training, youth leadership development, and other local sustainability projects that will go a long way in keeping the Sound clean and healthy for future generations to enjoy. This is a great way to inspire a lifetime of environmental stewardship in people of all ages, and I look forward to seeing how the awardees bring their proposals to life,” said Senator Chris Murphy.

“The Long Island Sound (LIS) 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,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro. “As a former co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, I am committed to securing funding for a revitalized Long Island Sound and secured $40 million for LIS in the 2024 funding bill. 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. I look forward to working with my congressional colleagues, RAE, and EPA to support vital projects in the Long Island Sound region.”

“The Long Island Sound and its watershed that spans six states is one of the most vibrant ecosystems in the world, helping to sustain the Northeast’s economy,” said Representative John B. Larson. “We secured record investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to revitalize the Sound by improving climate resiliency, combating pollution, and protecting habitats in Connecticut and across the Northeast. I will continue to work with the Connecticut delegation and my Long Island Sound Caucus colleagues to preserve our region’s unique ecosystem and support initiatives that advance environmental justice.”

“Thanks to the federal infrastructure law, organizations in Connecticut and across the region are receiving major investments to ensure the Long Island Sound remains a valuable resource for generations to come. This funding will go a long way in our work to preserve and protect the Sound and support communities along the estuary,” said Representative Joe Courtney.

“Here in Southwest Connecticut, we know well that keeping the Long Island Sound clean is paramount to the health of our planet, people, and coastal economy. I’m thrilled that the Long Island Sound Community Impact Fund (LISCIF), made possible by federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will provide $1.5 million to protect people living on the frontlines of the climate crisis. From purifying our water to building resilient infrastructure, LISCIF-funded projects will help defend our invaluable natural resources and equip communities with the tools to tackle climate challenges head-on,” said Representative Jim Himes.

“Investing in maintaining the health of our watersheds is vital as we work to ensure communities across Connecticut have access to clean water sources and our wildlife can thrive. Projects like this are another way the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is building a sustainable future for generations to come,” said Representative Jahana Hayes. “I am thrilled the Housatonic Valley Association will receive federal funding to continue educating students on the importance of protecting the Housatonic River and surrounding area.”

Prior to starting projects in July, RAE is excited to organize the Annual Learning Exchange on June 27th at the CUNY Graduate Center. This will be the first of several opportunities where subawardees, Tribal Nations, organizations, municipalities, and institutions will come together to workshop, collaborate, network, and learn from one another. Workshop themes are based on projects that will be funded for this round of funding.

RAE is excited to work with subawardees in the Long Island Sound Region to improve environmental justice issues while assisting organizations in their programmatic, non-profit/grants management needs.

For more information on LISCIF or the Annual Learning Exchange, please visit or direct questions by email to [email protected].

About RAE: Restore America’s Estuaries is a national alliance of 10 of the leading coastal conservation groups in the United States dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources.

This news release originally appeared on the Restore America Estuaries website on May 8, 2024.

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