Federal and state agencies announced grants totaling $2.8 million for nonprofits and community groups to improve the health of the Long Island Sound.
The grants are matched by $2.4 million from the grantees themselves, resulting in $5.2 million in combined total funding for conservation projects in the state, according to a statement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Long Island Sound Futures Fund 2021 grants will reach more than 290,000 residents through environmental education programs and conservation projects. Water quality improvement projects will treat 353,000 gallons of stormwater annually and install 43,000-square-feet of green infrastructure. The projects will also remove 97,700 pounds of marine debris from the sound and restore 25 acres of critical habitat for fish and wildlife.
“EPA and its partners enthusiastically support New Yorkers’ active engagement and stewardship in protecting the Long Island Sound,” EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia said in the statement. “Focusing on climate change and climate justice are key priorities, and these projects help provide real long-term results, including improving water quality, preventing pollution, protecting and restoring habitat, wildlife and wetlands, as well as educating the public.”
The Long Island Sound Study initiated the LISFF in 2005 through the EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Since its inception, the LISFF has invested $32 million in 529 projects. With grantee match of $49 million, the program has generated $81 million for local and regional conservation. The projects opened 115 river miles for fish, restored 805 acres of coastal habitat, treated 201 million gallons of stormwater pollution, and educated and engaged over 4 million people in the protection and restoration of the sound.