Grantee: National Audubon Society, Inc. (Audubon New York)
LISFF Grant Funds: $175,409Grantee Matching Funds: $88,496Total Conservation Impact: $263,905
Project Area: Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park, New York
Description at a Glance: Conduct a site assessment and develop a preliminary design to restore salt marsh at Sunken Meadow State Park, New York. The project will set the stage to improve marsh habitat for saltmarsh sparrow and other wildlife and buffer the park and nearby communities from storms and sea-level rise.
Abstract: National Audubon Society will conduct a site assessment and develop a preliminary design to restore or enhance salt marsh, with a focus on high marsh, for 83-acres at Sunken Meadow State Park, New York. Mosaics of low and high saltmarsh have special value for Long Island Sound and its residents providing ecological and economic benefits to the communities. Saltmarsh reduces the impact of flooding and coastal storms, filters pollution from stormwater runoff before it enters local waters and the Sound, and acts as a nursery for commercial and recreational fish. As marsh flooding increases in frequency, duration, and depth, high marsh becomes low marsh diminishing the capacity to provide these benefits. High salt marsh, in particular, provides habitat for special native wildlife like saltmarsh sparrow, one bird most at risk from rising seas. Project activities to address these problems at the park:1) Conduct a detailed assessment of tidal marsh and bird habitat; 2) Train five volunteers to assess saltmarsh sparrow and other bird species use of the marsh; 3) Develop ~50 percent engineered design based on the assessments including detailed cost estimates to inform future site restoration; and 4) Engage the regional Salt Marsh Working Group to transfer lessons learned about tidal marsh conservation and resiliency. This project aims to identify concrete restoration and management activities to increase resilience and slow the loss of salt marsh and associated wildlife.
Grantee: The Trust for Public Land
LISFF Grant Funds: $242,371Grantee Matching Funds: $1,725,000Total Conservation Impact: $1,967,371
Project Area: Public School 107X one-half mile from the Bronx River and in the Soundview/Hunts Point neighborhoods, Bronx New York
Description at a Glance: Construct green infrastructure on a playground at Public School 107X in the Bronx, New York. The project will enhance community outdoor recreational green space and capture 2.7 million gallons of polluted stormwater annually before it flows into the Bronx River and Long Island Sound.
Abstract: The Trust for Public Land will replace 1.5 acres of asphalt lot with green infrastructure at the Public School 107X playground in the Bronx, New York. The area is part of an Environmental Protection Agency environmental justice community affected by socioeconomic and environmental threats. Located in the industrialized southern terminus of the Bronx River, and the Western Narrows of Long Island Sound, the neighborhood with a 44% poverty rate, is a recipient of industrial and household pollutants, and combined sewer overflows which dump a billion gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater runoff into waterways. The community has severe crowding rates in rental units and deficits in access to the outdoors. Green infrastructure modeled after nature will treat 2.7 million gallons of stormwater annually before it flows into the Bronx River and the Sound; and transform a barren lot into an outdoor classroom and community green space for 15,000 neighbors in a park-poor area. Project activities: 1) Construct green infrastructure which may include permeable pavers, trees and tree pits, rain gardens, a green roof gazebo, planters, and a turf area; and 2) Teach 600 students about green infrastructure and its impact on the Sound and install an interpretive sign about it. The revitalized playground will be open to the public after school and on weekends, serving the entire community, advancing equity, and promoting a healthy Bronx River and Sound.
Grantee: Frank Melville Memorial Foundation
LISFF Grant Funds: $29,987Grantee Matching Funds: $24,525Total Conservation Impact: $54,512
Project Area: Frank Melville Memorial Park, Setauket, New York
Description at a Glance: Install an innovative onsite wastewater treatment system in the Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket, New York. The project will provide a visible proof-of-concept to inform wider use of efficient low-cost residential treatment system with the promise to decrease nitrogen pollution into the ground and surface waters of local bays, harbors, streams, and rivers that flow into Long Island Sound.
Abstract: The Frank Melville Memorial Foundation Nature Conservancy will replace an aging residential septic system with an innovative Nitrogen Removing Biofilter (NRB) at the Frank Melville Memorial Park, Setauket, New York. Reducing nitrogen pollution is critical to a healthy Long Island Sound. Excess nitrogen reduces public enjoyment, degrades wetlands, and harms fisheries of the Sound. A large amount of nitrogen discharged into local water bodies and ultimately the Sound comes from aging home septic systems. The proposed NRB installation is projected to reduce nitrogen pollution by 80-90 percent from each system. This project is part of a larger effort to achieve the necessary number of installations to advance the NRB design from ‘Experimental’ to ‘Pilot’ approval by Suffolk County for wider use around the county in homes to benefit water quality. Project activities: 1) Replace a cesspool with a sand- and woodchip-based Nitrogen Removing Biofilter which utilizes coupled nitrification and denitrification; 2) Monitor NRB performance. The system has a projected reduction of 43 lbs. of nitrogen annually; 3) Produce a robust, scientific analysis on performance and function of the NRB to advance approval in Suffolk County and the state, and to expand wider use of the technology. This project holds the promise of fostering a significant reduction in nitrogen loading which could be achieved by widespread adoption of the NRB technology within the Long Island Sound watershed.
Grantee: Connecticut Fund for the Environment (Save the Sound)
LISFF Grant Funds: $200,000Grantee Matching Funds: $100,000Total Conservation Impact: $300,000
Project Area: The Westchester portion of the Hutchinson River watershed: Scarsdale, Eastchester, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, and Pelham, New York
Description at a Glance: Develop a watershed plan for the Hutchinson River watershed, Westchester County, New York. The project will ensure that restoration and protection strategies are identified that address watershed resilience to flooding and storms and local and Long Island Sound water quality.
Abstract: Connecticut Fund for the Environment (Save the Sound) will prepare a watershed plan for the 5,430-acre portion of the Hutchinson River watershed in Westchester County, New York. The Hutchinson River begins in Westchester and passes south through its villages, to the Bronx into Eastchester Bay and to Long Island Sound. The heavily populated communities surrounding the river have a high percentage of impervious hard surfaces like roofs and streets and leaking sewers discharging pollution into the waterway. The river suffers from fragmented floodplains and loss of wetlands and riparian habitat reducing natural resilience to storms and floods. The water quality planning will use the U.S. Environmental Protection Action 9 Element Plan methods. The resilience and flood planning will use FEMA tools and analysis. Activities: 1) Identify the causes of water quality problems and the risks of flooding; 2) Identify goals for reducing these problems, and criteria/monitoring to be used to assess improvements; 3) Describe restoration projects and timeframes implement them; 4) Identify financial and technical requirements to implement projects; 4) Engage 80 stakeholders and 20 volunteers in plan development; and 5) Describe the role of stakeholders in plan implementation. This planning phase looks at the upper watershed with future planning for the lower watershed in the Bronx. This project is the first step in creating a blueprint for comprehensive river restoration.
Grantee: Science Museum of Long Island
LISFF Grant Funds: $46,021Grantee Matching Funds: $49,180Total Conservation Impact: $95,201
Project Area: Leeds Pond Preserve, Village of Plandome Manor, New York
Description at a Glance: Design and install a green infrastructure demonstration at the 36-acre Leeds Pond Preserve, home of the Science Museum of Long Island, that borders both Manhasset Bay and Leeds Pond in Plandome Manor, New York. The project will prevent 2,641,936 gallons of polluted stormwater from entering Manhasset Bay and Long Island and demonstrate to people visiting the museum how the various types of green infrastructure controls and reduces stormwater runoff.
Abstract: The Science Museum of Long Island will install seven green infrastructure demonstration exhibits to educate the public about this tool and to address stormwater runoff from the facility in Plandome, New York. The Science Museum located at the Leeds Pond Preserve is an area with topographic and physical characteristics typical of Long Island’s north shore – steep slopes and soils with high erosion potential. These slopes carry stormwater, nitrogen, and sediments directly into Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound. Twenty-seven percent of water flows discharging to the Bay are from stormwater runoff and that runoff is estimated to contribute 99 percent of the bacterial pollution in the Bay. Green infrastructure is a natural approach to managing stormwater. It uses landforms (like basins or swales) to capture runoff and plants to break down pollution. Project activities: 1) Design and install 10,340 square ft. of green infrastructure as public “exhibits” including rain barrels, rain gardens, bio-retention swales, etc. positioned strategically around the Museum’s buildings to capture runoff and prevent 2,641,936 gallons of polluted stormwater annually; 2) Engage 58 volunteers from north shore bay protection committees to install the green infrastructure; and 3) Use the exhibits to create design/installation training videos, workshops, and informational brochures to demonstrate the beauty and functionality of green infrastructure for homeowners and landscapers.
Grantee: Town of Brookhaven
LISFF Funds: $8,799Matching Funds: $4,450Total Conservation Impact: $13,249
Project Area: Cedar Beach and Mt. Sinai Harbor, Mt. Sinai, West Meadow Beach, Setauket, and libraries throughout the Town of Brookhaven, New York
Description at a Glance: Provide a Long Island Sound environmental education series in the Town of Brookhaven, New York. The project will reach 550 community members, increasing the knowledge and engagement of the public in the protection and restoration of Long Island Sound and its coastal ecosystem.
Abstract: The Town of Brookhaven will conduct an environmental education series about Long Island Sound geared towards people of all ages in New York. Based upon a survey of people in communities surrounding Long Island Sound, 70 percent of individuals surveyed do not fully appreciate how their actions affect the environment of the Sound but are concerned about its health and future. Project activities: 1) Conduct six interactive library presentations about water quality with participants making rain chains that guide the flow of water from the roof for reuse on lawns or gardens. Collecting stormwater runoff from roofs reduces the amount of polluted water into waterways; 2) Deliver three tours at Long Island Sound-based facilities including the Marine Education Stewardship Center which hosts a submarine room where touch screen computers provide an animated view of marine life in the Sound and a boardwalk with dunes and plants native to the coast; and Mt. Sinai Cedar Beach and Harbor home to the Town shellfish facility and eelgrass restoration project; 3) Host three youth-friendly environmental education presentations incorporating stories, live animals, and information about the environment of the Sound; and 4) Conduct six conservation activities including native plantings and water quality testing through the Junior Environmental Stewards program. The project will reach 550 residents strengthening the community’s relationship to the Sound.
Grantee: National Audubon Society, Inc. (Audubon New York)
LISFF Funds: $47,563Matching Funds: $47,911Total Conservation Impact: $95,475
Project Area: Long Island Sound watershed of New York: Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary, Crab Meadow, the Nissequogue River, Stony Brook Harbor, Hallock State Park/Mattituck State Tidal Wetlands, and Plum and Gull Islands
Description at a Glance: Expand the “Be a Good Egg,” environmental education program in the Long Island Sound watershed of New York. The project will increase support for coastal conservation and engage people in actions that help shorebirds thrive in important coastal habitats of the Sound.
Abstract: National Audubon Society (Audubon New York) will deliver an environmental education program “Be a Good Egg” (BGE) encouraging people to share the shore with shorebirds at 11 recreational shorelines in the Long Island Sound Watershed of New York. Every summer, people flock to the shores of the Sound to enjoy the outdoors. These shorelines are also critical stopover points for thousands of shorebirds who also arrive during summer. This project will address human bird conflicts on popular beaches by combining on-the-beach outreach, community education through public and school programming, and volunteer engagement. Project activities: 1) Target interactions with visitors to enhance outreach to audiences such as dog-walkers; 2) Host 17 BGE programs at local beaches to engage 1,500 beachgoers with share the shore messaging and to encourage them to sign the “Be a Good Egg” pledge to give birds space; 3) Train 90 volunteers to assist with beach stewardship and outreach; 4) Engage 750 children in a shorebird lesson and sign design project with at least 60 signs designed by the students installed at beach nesting sites; 5) Conduct six conservation stewardship days engaging at least 40 volunteers in a bird conservation project; and 6) Reach 78,000 people with share the shore messages through electronic and social media.
Grantee: Waterfront Alliance
LISFF Funds: $30,000Matching Funds: $32,225Total Conservation Impact: $62,225
Project Area: Clason Point, Castle Hill, Shorehaven and Soundview, Bronx, New York. This area is surrounded on three sides by Long Island Sound.
Description at a Glance: Deliver educational programs and festivals about Long Island Sound in the Bronx, New York. The project will build on existing partnerships with grassroots organizations in underserved urban neighborhoods to increase awareness of Long Island Sound and knowledge about what can be done to restore it.
Abstract: Waterfront Alliance will work with grassroots partners to deliver Long Island Sound waterfront education programs and festivals in the Bronx, New York. Residents of this area are surrounded on three sides by the Sound between the Bronx River and Westchester Creek, but are disadvantaged in ways that prevent them from appreciating their connection to the Sound. The area is in an Environmental Protection Agency environmental justice community. It receives industrial pollutants, and combined sewer overflows which dump sewage and stormwater runoff into local waters. Post-industrial decay separated people from the waterfront. Zoning has added urban density, along with three public housing projects. While some of the deteriorated waterfront has been restored as parks that provide access to the Sound these areas are underutilized. The Long Island Sound Study public perception survey confirms that residents who live in highly urbanized areas like this are less likely to participate in activities on the Sound or to have a favorable view of their local water quality. Project activities: 1) Enhance the Estuary Explorers lesson plan to address the Sound in local schools; and 2) Lead three youth waterfront labs and two community coastal festivals on the Sound. The project will deliver programs to inspire stewardship of these urban shores growing the number of Sound stewards by 1,000 people with locally relevant marine stewardship experiences and recreational activities.
Grantee: Citizens Campaign Fund the Environment, Inc.
LISFF Funds: $65,500Matching Funds: $40,000Total Conservation Impact: $105,500
Project Area: Long Island Sound watershed, New York
Description at a Glance: 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. The project will deliver a shared Student Action plan for the Sound.
Abstract: Citizens Campaign for Fund the Environment will deliver education and a student summit about Long Island Sound in four high schools of Suffolk County, New York. Project activities: 1) Develop and deliver presentations and materials in the schools about new and existing challenges to the health of the Sound such as plastic pollution, nitrogen pollution; 2) Mentor 50 students to conduct their own project involving Long Island Sound as an interactive activity, a research paper, poster or video project; and 3) Bring students together in the first Sound Solutions Summit for High School Students to share their projects and develop a Long Island Sound Student Action Plan to be disseminated in schools, communities and to Long Island Sound Study partners. This project will connect and engage students in current and future efforts to protect and restore Long Island Sound.
Grantee: Henry L. Ferguson Museum
LISFF Funds: $44,797Grantee Matching Funds: $33,661Total Conservation Impact: $78,459
Project Area: Fishers Island, New York with some educational events in New London County, Connecticut
Description at a Glance: Deliver an education and engagement program to stakeholder communities presenting scenarios for eelgrass protection at Fishers Island, New York. The project will secure and integrate community feedback about strategies to best protect this important coastal habitat of Long Island Sound.
Abstract: The Henry L. Ferguson Museum will deliver a stakeholder awareness building program presenting scenarios for eelgrass protection at Fishers Island, New York. Eelgrass, an aquatic plant, is a vital to the health of Long Island Sound. The Sound’s eelgrass meadows provide spawning, nursery, shelter and foraging areas for fish and wildlife. Eelgrass adds oxygen to the water, promotes water clarity, and sequesters and stores twice as much carbon as terrestrial forests. Healthy eelgrass meadows stabilize shorelines and buffer communities from storms. Eelgrass meadows have been decimated by disease and other stressors with less than 10 percent of its historic acreage remaining in the Sound. Project activities: 1) Conduct 15 educational events to present scenarios for eelgrass protection to 200 stakeholders and collect feedback; 2) Conduct one intensive workshop and four quarterly meetings with the community-based coalition to gather enhanced feedback and synthesize information; 3) Prepare a summary of stakeholder comments and integrate into draft management recommendations to be provided to the Town of Southold to build further awareness about the value and strategies for eelgrass protection in its borders; and 4) Work with town officials to discuss the scenarios and strategies and define a pathway to development and adoption of a plan. This project will help secure the future of this important resource by planning to protect the largest block of remaining eelgrass.
Grantee: The Whaling Museum Society, Inc.
LISFF Grant Funds: $9,940Grantee Matching Funds: $5,550Total Conservation Impact: $15,490
Project Area: Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Description at a Glance: Deliver a public education series with hands-on learning and conservation-based activities to inform people about the effects of pollution on Long Island Sound. The project will teach 300 adult, family, and elementary school age audiences about actions they can take to improve the health of the Sound.
Abstract: The Whaling Museum Society and Education Center will host a public education series, “Sound Effects,” in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The project will reach 300 adults, families, and elementary school age children. This project will: 1) Conduct a local media campaign to generate interest in the events, and 2) Deliver a series of diverse educational programs, including: a five-part program series appealing to adults called “Conservation Conversations” with facilitators exploring ways citizens can adopt Long Island Sound-friendly behaviors and build a deeper relationship with the Sound; a four-part “Ocean Science Sunday” program series on weekends for family audiences, designed with multiple hands-on activities and exploratory learning about Sound conservation; and a one-week marine education camp program, “Sound Explorers!” for children in grades 2-5, engaging them to play an active role in understanding, studying, and protecting the Sound. The project will engage, inform, and build awareness in local communities about conservation of Long Island Sound.
Grantee: State University of New York- Maritime College
LISFF Grant Funds: $9,025Grantee Matching Funds: $14,179Total Conservation Impact: $23,204
Project Area: SUNY-Maritime College, Bronx, New York
Description at a Glance: Host the Boogie Down to the Sound a two-day hands-on on-the-water event at SUNY-Maritime College, Bronx, New York. The project will build awareness and connect ~1,000 students and community residents to Long Island Sound.
Abstract: SUNY Maritime College will host the second Boogie Down to the Sound – A Celebration of Long Island Sound, Bronx, New York. Residents of the Bronx and Queens are more disconnected from the Sound than their counterparts in Connecticut, Westchester, and on Long Island. Only seven percent of residents have boated, sailed, kayaked, or canoed on the Sound within the last year and just 44 percent of those people participated in at least one of these on-the-water activities compared to 79 percent of Long Island and 72 percent of Connecticut residents. This disconnection results in residents being unconcerned and consequently uninformed of their role in preserving local waters and the Sound. This project will: 1) Engage ~1,000 residents to connect with the Sound and the East River; and 2) Provide an array of educational, recreational on-the-water, and stewardship activities including water quality monitoring, seining, shoreline clean-up, oyster restoration, kayaking, and sailing. The first day of the celebration will target 100+ area school children followed by a celebration open to the entire community. A variety of educational, stewardship, and recreational activities will be available such as a shoreline clean-up, hands-on marine education, and oyster restoration stations, kayaking, sailing, and boating. This event will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the Sound and how to become more actively involved in its conservation.
Grantee: City Island Oyster Reef
LISFF Grant Funds: $8,444Grantee Matching Funds: $25,565Total Conservation Impact: $34,009
Project Area: City Island is located in the western end of Long Island Sound and lies between Eastchester Bay and City Island Harbor, Bronx, New York
Description at a Glance: 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, Bronx, New York. The project will provide the community with environmental education about the importance of protecting City Island’s shoreline and the Long Island Sound through the lens of oyster restoration and clean water initiatives.
Abstract: City Island Oyster Reef “COIR” will host education and awareness building events and workshops designed to engage the community in hands-on stewardship centered on the City Island and the western Long Island Sound, New York. The project will be delivered through the lens of current and future efforts to restore wild oyster populations in the waters surrounding City Island. Oyster reefs play an important role in ecosystem function because of their ability to form biodiverse habitats and to improve water quality, which in turn promotes healthy, resilient shoreline ecosystems. Project activities: 1) the Viva la Sound festival will be a one-day event on the eastern shoreline of City Island. Educational and stewardship activities to be offered include: water-quality testing, monitoring of oyster research stations, live oyster filtration demonstrations, oyster cage building, a touch tank aquarium, a scuba diving demonstration, boating, tours of the marshland and beach, and a historical exhibit highlighting the marshland and maritime history of New York City, It aims to attract ~300 visitors and 60 volunteers; and 2) Conduct four volunteer educational workshops to include water-quality testing, oyster cage monitoring, removal of marine debris and plastic waste, and identifying native marsh plants. The project will stimulate public engagement in the stewardship of City Island’s natural resources and foster the adoption of water quality improvements in the area.
Grantee: The Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff
LISFF Grant Funds: $75,000Grantee Matching Funds: $81,296Total Conservation Impact: $156,296
Project Area: Outer and Inner Hempstead Harbor, Nassau, County, New York
Description at a Glance: Conduct water quality monitoring in Hempstead Harbor, Nassau County, New York. The project will inform management of Hempstead Harbor an embayment of Long Island Sound.
Abstract: The Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff, New York will monitor pollution indicators to gauge the ecosystem health of Hempstead Harbor and assess bacteria levels that could affect other uses of its waters (swimming and shellfish harvesting) in Nassau County, New York. The project will be delivered by a dedicated corps of citizen scientists associated with the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor monitoring local water quality since 1992. Project activities: 1) Collect water quality data including dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform bacteria, enterococci bacteria, total organic nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, salinity, pH, turbidity (in NTUs), clarity (Secchi depth), water temperature, air temperature, wind direction and speed, precipitation, and wildlife; 2) Track improvements and declines in water quality; 3) Disseminate a technical report that will be made available to 1,300 individuals, local governments, state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, the Long Island Sound Study and its Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the Long Island Regional Planning Council, and the public about conditions in Hempstead Harbor; and 4) Upload data into the US Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Exchange database the nation’s largest source of water quality monitoring data.
Grantee: Bronx River Alliance, Inc.
LISFF Grant Funds: $49,232Grantee Matching Funds: $37,800Total Conservation Impact: $87,032
Project Area: Neighborhoods and communities along the Bronx River
Description at a Glance: Monitor water quality along the entire Bronx River in the Bronx and Westchester County, New York. The project will improve water quality and management of the Bronx River downstream to Long Island Sound by identifying and addressing sources of illicit pollution and informing the update to the watershed-scale Bronx River Intermunicipal Watershed Plan.
Abstract: The Bronx River Alliance will engage citizen scientists to conduct water quality monitoring and integrate the data collected into an update of a plan which addresses the management of the entire Bronx River from Westchester County to Bronx County, New York. Pollutants entering the Bronx River ultimately discharge into Long Island Sound. The project will result in improved water quality by identifying and addressing sources of illicit pollution and updating a watershed-scale plan to support comprehensive water resources and climate management. Project activities: 1) Recruit and train 20 citizen scientists to conduct water quality monitoring of fecal pathogens, air and water temperature, pH, site observations, and wildlife at 15 sites from the source of the Bronx River in Westchester County to the mouth of the river at Soundview Park in the Bronx; 2) Conduct a pilot study of nutrients throughout the watershed; 3) Pilot a targeted outfall study of concentrations of nutrients and chemicals combined with fecal pathogen data from current and past monitoring data. This will help determine where, if any, suspected point sources of pollution may exist; 4) Share results with municipalities that can address the sources of pollution; and 5) Integrate water quality data into priority-setting process to update the Bronx River Intermunicipal Watershed Plan.