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CCE IN THE NEWS

Source: Kings Park Patch

Are We Doing Enough to Preserve the Long Island Sound?

BY LON COHEN

Posted: August 13, 2012
Originally Published: August 10, 2012

One of the biggest draws to the North Shore is its proximity to the Long Island Sound. Beaches, fishing, boating and some beautiful water views are what make this region stand out from all others.

A variegated coastline of marshes, harbors and streams all flow from its waters, reaching far into the shoreline, providing a vibrant playground for humans and a home to a diversity of animal and plant life both under the water and along its shores.

Economically, the Long Island Sound gives back to the people who live and work near it. Tourism, real estate and outdoor sports like fishing and boating all depend on it to provide a living for many thousands of people.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a local environmental group, estimated that the Long Island Sound adds $8 billion to the economy.

From a Seafloor Mapping Project already underway to the 26-page Long Island Sound Vision Action Plan unveiled last year, joint efforts on the part of various government agencies and nonprofit groups are striving to study and protect the Long Island Sound.

Local activists also take it upon themselves to pitch in volunteering every year to pick up the garbage that litters North Shore beaches.

Dave Johnson’s Coastal Steward, a Port Jefferson based environmental organization, started cultivating oysters to repopulate the waters around Mt. Sinai and Port Jefferson. Oysters are not only a great appetizer but, according to Steward, they are natural filters, removing pollutants from the water.

Port Jefferson village also took a step toward remediating the Mill Creek watershed this year with a plan that will open up blockages, remove invasive species of plants and fix stormwater runoff issues.

All of these projects have one thing in common: protecting and preserving the Long Island Sound.

But the question is: should we be doing more to ensure the Long Island Sound remains clean and safe for the biodiversity of life that depends on it and the economic benefits derived from it?