Agencies award $10.3M for Long Island Sound water quality

Dec. 15, 2022
The award of 41 grants through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund will help prevent stormwater from flowing into the sound, remove marine debris from shorelines, restore habitat, and provide public environmental education.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that federal and state officials have awarded 41 grants totaling $10.3 million for organizations and local governments in New England and New York to reduce stormwater pollution for the Long Island Sound.

The funds will help prevent 5.3 million gallons of polluted stormwater from flowing into long Island Sound waters, remove 8,000 pounds of marine debris from the sound shorelines, reach 319,000 people through environmental education programs, and enhance 215 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife.

Funding for the grant program comes from the EPA as part of the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Salesforce, Zoetis, Avangrid Foundation, and Covanta provided other funding.

The grants are matched by $5.8 million from the grantees themselves, resulting in $16.1 million combined total funding for conservation projects in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

"The Long Island Sound is a critical natural resource that supports a diverse ecosystem and provides advantages to millions of people along its coast," says EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. "EPA's ongoing investments in community-based programs and water quality improvements immediately benefit the Sound, reducing nitrogen runoff and helping restore miles of river habitat. In addition, the Long Island Sound will benefit from a $106 million investment under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These awards and that financing provide a unique opportunity to make significant environmental improvements that will last generations.”

The LISS initiated the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in 2005 through EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. Since its inception, the Futures Fund has invested $42 million in 570 projects. The program has generated an additional $54 million in grantee match for a total conservation impact of $97 million. Projects have opened 119 river miles for fish, restored 811 acres of wildlife habitat, reduced 206 million gallons of stormwater pollution, and engaged more than 5 million people in the protection and restoration of the sound.

A complete list of the 2022 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grants recipients is available here.