The Long Island Sound watershed covers more than 16,000 square miles in six states and encompasses hundreds of local watersheds. Effective and efficient management of Long Island Sound, as with any large waterbody, requires collaboration and governance among numerous cross-jurisdictional partners and stakeholders.
Inherent to effective management is thorough scientific understanding through strengthened research, monitoring, assessment, mapping, and modeling programs. As new data, research, knowledge, and issues emerge, it is critical that implementation and management is adapted and improved. Ecosystem-based management provides a framework for both science and management that accounts for the complex interrelationships of human society and the environment. It means planning on an ecosystem level, involving multiple stakeholders and integrating the full spectrum of ecosystem services supporting human wants and needs, developing cross-jurisdictional goals, implementing programs through coordinated, accountable strategies across levels of government, incorporating adaptive management that acknowledges uncertainty in our understanding, and establishing long-term observation, modeling, and research programs.
Our estuarine and coastal systems have been impaired primarily from overharvesting of living natural resources, pollution, and habitat loss and degradation. Invasive species and climate change also have had an impact that will likely become more influential in the future. To address these drivers and pressures successfully, LISS management must develop and support integrated, adaptive, and coordinated relationships among fisheries, coastal zone, and pollution management programs in the context of human use of the Sound. Societal needs and the economic consequences of activities to ecosystem services that society relies upon are vital elements to be integrated into management. In this way, managing Long Island Sound as an ecosystem is an integral part of meeting pressing social needs in environmentally sustainable ways.
Click the menu below to find examples of projects and initiatives that are being done around Long Island Sound to achieve specific environmental outcomes, an important step toward meeting the Management Plan’s Sound Science and Management Goals.
The Long Island Sound Management Conference, the federal, state, and local partners that developed Long Island Sound’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, meet quarterly through its Management Committee, to focus on implmenting the plan. The names of the representatives of the Management Committee and summaries of the meetings are available in the Committee section of the website.
Annual Long Island Sound Study work plans are developed that consider progress made and recommendations for improving implementation to achieve desired outcomes. The work plans are available in the media center.
For More Information
The full description of the actions, strategies, objective and outcomes for Long Island Sound Study can be found in the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.
The 2022 Science Needs Document is a comprehensive summary of the science support needed to meet the management goals of the Long Island Sound Study (LISS). The report is available in the LISS media center.
To fulfill the vision of a restored and protected Long Island Sound the partner agencies of the Long Island Sound Study in 2015 revised its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Download the 2015 Management Plan
Implementation Actions (IAs), which help fulfill the outcomes and goals of the CCMP, have been updated for the 2020-2024 planning cycle. Download in the Media Center.
The public summary provides a concise summary of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Download Public Summary
The spring 2023 issue of Sound Update focuses on Long Island Sound Study’s activities in 2022. Various clean water, habitat restoration, education, and science projects from Connecticut and New York are highlighted. Download in the Media Center.
The EPA National Estuary Program Work Plan highlights current and planned Management Plan activities. It is available as a PDF Download in the Media Center.
Read the 1994 CCMP and the updates to the CCMP that were adopted prior to the completion of the 2015 CCMP.
Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) – Each of the National Estuary Programs (NEPs) is required to develop a plan that identifies the specific commitments and recommendations to maintain and improve the waters of their estuary. LISS’s CCMP works to protect and restore LIS by improving water quality, protecting habitat and living resources, educating and involving the public, improving the long–term understanding of how to manage the Sound, monitor progress, and redirect management efforts.
Management Conference – The Long Island Sound Study management conference is a partnership of federal, state, interstate, and local agencies, universities, environmental groups, industry and the public working together to implement the goals and objectives set forth in the CCMP. It is made up of the LISS committees and work groups.