Eleven leaders from Connecticut and New York state, including U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, have sent a letter to the president seeking $20 million in the 2020 federal budget to improve the Long Island Sound.
The funding for the Long Island Sound Geographic Program would be used to pay for improvements to water quality and restore habitat around the sound watershed.
“This year, Congress reauthorized the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act, which allows Congress to allocate up to a $65 million a year in grants for Long Island Sound,” the letter stated.
“If we consider the status quo acceptable, the Long Island Sound and the coastline we know will not be recognizable to the next generation,” it stated. “As a result, the vibrant business community and economic activity the sound supports will dwindle.”
The letter went on to say: “The sound is a proven economic driver in the Northeast, generating at least $17 billion to the regional economy from transportation, fishing and recreational activities it supports.
“Long Island Sound Geographic Program funding has allowed local communities across the watershed to make significant progress in improving the sound,” it stated. “In the most recent award year, projects spanned four states and included funding for building environmentally friendly coastal resiliency structures, monitoring water quality, constructing fishways, reducing nitrogen pollution, and protecting marine life.”
Also signing the letter were Connecticut U.S. Reps. Jim Himes, Joe Courtney, John Larson and Rosa DeLauro and New York U.S. Reps. Lee Zeldin, Peter King and Thomas Suozzi.