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Source: The Rockland Star

New York and Connecticut Congressional Leaders Advocate for $10 Million for Long Island Sound Protection

Presidentís Budget Allocates a Dismal $3 million

Posted: April 24, 2013
Originally Published: April 24, 2013

Farmingdale, NY – Congressional leaders from New York and Connecticut sent a letter to the Federal Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies requesting that federal funding for the Long Island Sound receive $10 million for Fiscal Year 2014. The Presidents’ Budget included $3 million for the restoration and stewardship of the Sound. Groups surrounding the Sound applaud Representatives DeLauro, Israel, Bishop, Clark, Courtney, Crowley, Engel, Esty, Himes, King, Larson, Maloney, McCarthy, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Owens, Rangel, and Tonko for their commitment to increasing federal dollars for the protection and restoration of the Long Island Sound.

“Healthy estuaries are related to healthy economies. We thank NY & CT Congressional leaders for fighting to increase critical funding. Now is the time to continue essential investments for projects to protect important habitats, reduce non-point source pollution, and restore lobster and shellfish populations.” stated Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

"We applaud our Congressional champions for once again standing up for the restoration of Long Island sound," said Erin Crotty Executive Director of Audubon New York. "The critical funding provided by this program creates good paying local jobs and is essential for restoring one of America's most important estuaries. The Sound is on the road to recovery, but we can't lose momentum now and this federal funding is crucial."

The Long Island Sound Stewardship Act and Long Island Sound Restoration Act allows federal funding of up to $65 million to state and local conservation programs working to protect environmentally and economically important resources to the Sound. Over the last 10 years, the Sound has received only a fraction of the possible federal funding, receiving just under $3 million last year, despite the fact that an estimated $70 million is needed now to restore the Long Island Sound. Similar estuaries, such as the Chesapeake Bay estuary program receive $72.6 million.

“The Sound contributes $8.5 billion every year to the local economy through tourism and recreation, yet the programs that protect it are continuously underfunded. Investing in Long Island Sound protection and restoration now is crucial in order to maintain the health of this vital resource in the future” concluded Esposito.