Long Island Sound Futures Fund

Black-bellied plovers perched on concrete reefballs in Stratford, CT (a Futures Fund living shoreline project). Photo by Scott Kruitbosch.

What is the Long Island Sound Futures Fund?

Stretching more than 110 miles into the Atlantic, with 600 miles of coastline, the Long Island Sound is home to hundreds of species of fish, birds, and other animals. Millions of people visit the Sound each year to swim, boat, and enjoy its beauty, enriching their own lives and stimulating the local economy.

Maintaining the Sound as a healthy ecosystem, while balancing human uses, presents a challenge. Over centuries, stormwater runoff, debris and other sources of man-made pollution have degraded the Sound and compromised its vitality.

The Long Island Sound Futures Fund supports projects in local communities that aim to protect and restore Long Island Sound. It unites federal and state agencies, foundations and corporations to achieve high-priority conservation objectives. Funded activities demonstrate a real, on-the-ground commitment to securing a healthy future for Long Island Sound.

Funding priorities for this program include:

  • Clean waters and healthy watersheds: improving water quality by delivering projects that reduce combined sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, and nonpoint source nutrient loading into Long Island Sound.
  • Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife: restoring coastal habitats to maintain resiliency and function, and foster diverse, balanced and abundant populations of fish, birds, and wildlife.
  • Educating to Engage Sustainable and Resilient Communities: increasing knowledge and engagement of the public in the protection and restoration of Long Island Sound.
  • Sound Science and Inclusive Management: using sound science and cross-jurisdictional governance that is inclusive, adaptive, innovative, and accountable.

The Long Island Sound Study initiated the Futures Fund grant program in 2005 through EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The grant program has a strong history of making tangible environmental improvements by supporting people and communities who value the sound and take a direct role in its future. Since its inception, the Futures Fund has invested $42 million in 570 projects. The program has generated an additional $54 million in grantee match for a total conservation impact of $97 million. Projects have opened 119 river miles for fish, restored 811 acres of wildlife habitat, reduced 206 million gallons of stormwater pollution, and engaged more than 5 million people in the protection and restoration of the Sound.

Who Manages the Program?

NFWF manages the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in partnership with the Long Island Sound Study through EPA’s Long Island Sound Office. Major funding for the program is provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Long Island Sound Study, and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

EPA Regions I and II, FWS, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York and Connecticut Sea Grant programs, Interstate Environmental Commission, and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission review proposals and provide technical assistance to applicants and recipients.

Where Can I Get More Information on the Grant Program?

Visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Sound Futures Fund Grant web page to find out what projects are eligible, and details on how to apply.


For more information please call Carrie Clingan, program director, Northeast Watersheds, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, at (202) 595-2471 or email her at: [email protected].

What’s eligible? (project types and geographic areas)
An interactive map describing the geographic boundaries of the Long Island Sound watershed. It was used for the 2022 Long Island Sound Futures Fund Request for Proposals
Interactive Watershed Map for the 2022 LIS Futures Fund.

Habitat restoration planning or implementation projects  are eligible for the Long Island Sound coastal watershed zone of  Connecticut and New York. Resilience, education, water quality, and fish passage projects are eligible for areas of the Long Island Sound Study Area in Connecticut and New York. Nitrogen prevention or nitrogen reduction planning or implementation projects are eligible in the entire Long Island Sound watershed boundary  (New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Search a location to determine if it is eligible with this interactive map. Click on the legend icon in the top right corner to view the boundary headings.

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