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Rep. Zeldin Appointed Co-Chair of Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus


Posted: January 27, 2017
Originally Published: January 26, 2017

NEW YORK – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) announced today that he has been appointed co-chair of the Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus in the House of Representatives, which he served on during the 114th Congress. Congressman Zeldin is replacing former Congressman Steve Israel as co-chair who recently retired from Congress. He will be serving alongside Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-3) who will be continuing on as the other co-chair.

The First Congressional District of New York contains over 55 miles of Long Island Sound shoreline, and in the 114th Congress Congressman Zeldin was the lead Republican sponsor of the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act (H.R. 2930).

Congressman Zeldin said, “I am honored to serve as co-chair of the Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. The bipartisan Long Island Sound caucus is dedicated to protecting and preserving the Long Island Sound and other critical waterways and natural treasures in our region. The Sound provides a diverse ecosystem with more than 170 species of fish, over 1,200 invertebrates and many different species of migratory birds. Home to more than 9 million people living in the coastal communities around the Sound, and over 24 million living within 50 miles of the Sound, the Sound is also essential to the everyday economy and livelihood of millions of Long Islanders. It’s also important to our local recreation and tourism economies.”

“With valuable natural treasures like the Long Island Sound comes a great responsibility to protect them, which is why I have been working tirelessly over the past two years to protect water quality and preserve our environment,” Congressman Zeldin continued. “Working on the Long Island Sound Caucus, I will continue my efforts in the 115th Congress to secure funding for our local waterways, including passage of critical legislation that ensures the Sound is protected and restored for generations to come by reauthorizing the Long Island Sound Study and other important water quality and shore restoration programs that oversee and coordinate federal, state, and local activities related to the restoration of the Long Island Sound. I’ll also continue fighting against proposals that would hurt our water quality and ecosystems, and pushing for the recycling and beneficial reuse of dredge material. Another important priority will be to stop the sale of Plum Island to ensure we pursue a better direction that allows for continued research, public access and permanent preservation of the island. I will continue working across the aisle as a member of this important caucus to ensure the preservation of our natural resources.”

“The Long Island Sound is a national treasure with a significant ecological and economic value, contributing at least $9.4 billion to the regional economy,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “The Long Island Sound Caucus is critical in fighting for the funding needed to preserve this pristine, beautiful and vibrant ecosystem, and I am pleased to welcome Congressman Zeldin as a co-chair of the Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment, said, “We are delighted that Congressman Zeldin has agreed to take this critical co-chair position and help lead the fight for Long Island Sound protection. Years of effort to restore the Sound are paying off and this valued estuary is showing meaningful signs of improved water quality and restoration. Now we need strong Congressional leadership to keep the progress going. Congressman Zeldin has been a fighter for Long Island Sound over the past few years and we look forward to his work and efforts for protecting Long Island Sound to become enhanced in this new leadership position.”

“Congressman Zeldin’s ongoing commitment to the environment, and especially his tireless work on behalf of Long Island Sound, make him a natural leader for the Long Island Sound Caucus,” said Leah Schmalz, Program Director of Connecticut Fund for the Environment and its bi-state program Save the Sound. “We congratulate him on the appointment and are grateful for his support in funding Long Island Sound stewardship and restoration, his dedication to the federal Long Island Sound estuary program, and his non-stop efforts to permanently protect the ecological gem of Plum Island. Save the Sound looks forward to joining him, and the rest of the Long Island Sound Caucus, in working as a united front to protect the habitats, wildlife and waters of Long Island Sound.”

Bob DeLuca, President, Group for the East End, said, “Congressman Zeldin has been a strong and effective advocate for the restoration and future protection of Long Island Sound and we applaud this appointment. Although the Sound has come a long way, the challenge of assuring its continued recovery and stewardship remains a formidable task and it will take the kind of dedication we have seen by the Congressman to keep improving the health and vitality of this remarkable and fragile estuary.”

George Hoffman, Trustee, Setauket Harbor Task Force, said, “Hearing that Congressman Zeldin has been named co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus should be welcomed news to all who value a clean and vibrant Long Island Sound. He has a strong record on coastal protection and represents one of the largest shorelines on the Long Island sound. And as a Majority member of Congress, he’ll help LI Sound issues get the attention they deserve.”