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$2.57 Million in Grants Will Improve the Health of Long Island Sound

$2 million for 24 grants to Improve the Health and Ecosystem of Long Island Sound in New England

12/04/2018
Contact Information: 
Mike Smith, w/NFWF
703-623-3834
John Senn, U.S. EPA Region 1 (senn.john@epa.gov)
617-918-1019

Port Jefferson, N.Y. – Today, top federal and state environmental officials announced 36 grants totaling $2.57 million to local government and community groups to improve the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound. Twenty grants totaling $1.73 million benefit Connecticut. Four grants totaling $322,000 benefit Massachusetts and Vermont.

The activities funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) show how projects led by local groups and communities make a big difference in improving water quality and restoring habitat around the Sound watershed. This grant program combines funds from EPA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

"The Futures Fund grants provide millions of dollars in funding for important local projects to protect Long Island Sound by addressing pollution and restoring valuable habitats," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "EPA is committed to working with conservation partners and local communities to protect and restore iconic waters like Long Island Sound that are among our nation's most precious natural resources."

The LISFF 2018 grants will reach more than 1.7 million residents through environmental education programs and conservation projects. Water quality improvement projects will treat 1.9 million gallons of water and collect 37,000 pounds of floating trash. The projects will open up six miles of river and restore 18 acres of coastal habitat for fish and wildlife. The grants will be matched by $3.09 million from the grantees resulting in $5.67 million in funding for on-the-ground conservation projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York. In Connecticut the $1.73 million in grant funds will be matched with $1.84 from the grantees, resulting in $3.57 million in community conservation. In Massachusetts and Vermont the $322,000 in grants funds will be matched with $351,000 from the grantees resulting in $673,000 in community conservation.

"By restoring estuaries and conserving habitats, the grants announced today will enhance the resilience of coastal communities," said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. "These grants represent NFWF's continued commitment to improving the health of rivers, coastal marshes, forests and grasslands for the benefit of local communities and fish and wildlife in Long Island Sound."

The Long Island Sound Study initiated the LISFF in 2005 through EPA's Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. To date, the LISFF has invested $19.6 million in 416 projects. With a grantee match of $36 million, the program generated $55.6 million for locally-based conservation. The projects have opened up 163 river miles for fish passage, restored 1,109 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat and open space, treated 204 million gallons of pollution, and educated and engaged 4.7 million people.

"Over the years, important projects have been funded that promoted habitat restoration of coastal wetland areas as well as watershed management projects and opening many miles riverine habitat for the passage of migratory fish to spawn," said Rob Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "We have also witnessed the impacts of climate change, with additional projects funded to assist with improving resiliency and sustainability of our coastal and watershed habitats. This year is no different as we celebrate the awarding of over $2 Million to 20 Connecticut projects and 4 recipients in the Connecticut River watershed portions of Massachusetts and Vermont that ensure protection and preservation of this valuable estuary. We are pleased that over $300,000 is being awarded to Connecticut projects supporting resiliency and living shorelines restoration as well as marine spatial planning of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan. These projects and more, will continue to build on our efforts to protect and improve the health of Long Island Sound fostering improved water quality, habitat restoration, coastal stewardship, watershed based management, and public involvement and education."

Long Island Sound is an estuary that provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people while also providing habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 species of fish, and dozens of species of migratory birds.

Each of the grant projects contribute to a healthier Long Island Sound for everyone, from nearby area residents to those at the furthest reaches of the Sound. All nine million people who live, work and play in the watershed impacting the Sound can benefit from and help build on the progress that has already been made.

The Long Island Sound Study, developed under the EPA's National Estuary Program, is a cooperative effort between the EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore the Sound and its ecosystem. To learn more about the LISS, visit www.longislandsoundstudy.net. Exit

Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org. Exit

LONG ISLAND SOUND FUTURES FUND 2018 PROJECTS

Projects Benefitting Connecticut

A Fishway for Pages Millpond Dam (CT)
Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound
Project Area: Farm River, North Branford, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $249,947; Matching Funds: $250,000

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound will construct a steeppass fishway opening 5.35 river miles and 4.25 lake acres of fish habitat for alewife, blueback herring and American eel in North Branford, Connecticut. The project will complete the restoration of this riverine migratory corridor to Long Island Sound for the first time in 300 years.

Hepburn Living Shoreline Project (CT)
Lynde Point Land Trust
Project Area: A 456 linear foot segment of coast on Long Island Sound east of the Katherine Hepburn Estate and west of the mouth of the Connecticut River, Borough of Fenwick, Old Saybrook, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $250,000; Matching Funds: $477,438

The Lynde Point Land Trust will construct a living shoreline along an eroding barrier spit on Long Island Sound in Fenwick, Connecticut. The project will provide protection for the nearby community and a 10-acre tidal marsh protecting from storms and rising waters.

A Fishway for the Railroad Pond Dam (CT)
Town of Berlin
Project Area: Mattabesset River, Berlin, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $250,000; Matching Funds: $147,800

The Town of Berlin will install a fishway at the Railroad Pond Dam in Berlin, Connecticut. The fishway will remove an impediment to passage and open a 12-acre pond and river for fish to pass to Long Island Sound including alewife, blueback herring, sea lamprey and American eel.

Planning for Two Fish Passage Projects in Southeastern Connecticut (CT)
Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound
Project Area: Whitford Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, a Mystic River tributary, Stonington, Alewife Cove Dam, Fenger Brook, an Alewife Cove tributary, Waterford, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $99,987; Matching Funds: $100,000

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound will develop engineered designs for fishways at Whitford Pond Dam in Stonington and at Alewife Cove Dam in Waterford, Connecticut. The project will set the stage to provide 4.2 miles of access to spawning, rearing and refuge habitat along two riverine migratory corridors valuable to Long Island Sound diadromous and freshwater fish such as alewife, blueback herring, brook trout, American eel and American shad.

Shewville Dam Fishway Design Project (CT)
Eastern Connecticut Conservation District
Project Area: Shewville Dam and Shewville Brook, Ledyard, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $74,133; Matching Funds: $80,000

The Eastern Connecticut Conservation District will prepare an engineered plan for a steeppass fishway on the Shewville Dam and Shewville Brook in Ledyard, Connecticut. The project will set the stage for the installation of a fishway that will reconnect 4.3 river miles and 152 acres of lake for alewife migration to all historic upstream habitat along a river corridor of Long Island Sound.

Addressing the Problem of Microplastics in Long Island Sound Harbors (CT)
Center for Environmental Sciences & Engineering and Institute for Materials Science, University of Connecticut
Project Area: Four Long Island Sound Harbors: Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and West Haven, and University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $99,999; Matching Funds: $99,893

University of Connecticut will investigate microplastics and the impact of this type of pollution in the western Long Island Sound harbors in Connecticut. The project will develop a model monitoring program to assess the extent and impact of microplastic pollution on the water, sediment and oysters of Long Island Sound, educate approximately 100 government and public stakeholders about the problem, and develop management recommendations to address the problem around the Sound.

Disconnecting Downspouts and Connecting Partners in the West River Watershed (CT)
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
Project Area: The east side of the West River from its northern border to New Haven Harbor, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $84,035; Matching Funds: $140,000

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven will install 1,000 square feet of Green Infrastructure improvements at residential sites in New Haven, Connecticut. The project will prevent 108,000 gallons of stormwater pollution annually from flowing into the West River and Long Island Sound.

SoundWaters Bioextraction Seaweed Farm (CT)
SoundWaters
Project Area: Greenwich and Stamford Harbors, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $38,307; Matching Funds: $31,534

SoundWaters will install a seaweed farm to bioextract pollution from Greenwich Harbor in Connecticut. The project will educate students, teachers and the public about the benefits of bioextraction through seaweed aquaculture in the waters of Long Island Sound.

Bright Green Hartford: Residential Rainwater Management for A Greener, Cleaner and Healthier Hartford (CT)
City of Hartford
Project Area: City of Hartford, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $177,310; Matching Funds: $89,700

The City of Hartford will provide residents with green infrastructure tools including downspout diverters, rain barrels and street trees in Hartford, Connecticut. The project will reduce 1.8 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually flowing into the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.

Community-driven Nitrogen Action Planning for Southeastern Connecticut Harbors and Bays (CT)
The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut
Project Area: Mystic River Embayment, Stony Brook/Frontal Fisher's Island Sound, and Pawcatuck River Embayment, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $40,862; Matching Funds: $40,862

The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut will develop a nitrogen action plan for harbors and bays in southeastern Connecticut. The project will identify and prioritize activities to reduce nitrogen pollution entering southeastern Connecticut waters and Long Island Sound.

Developing a Natural Resource and Watershed Plan for New London (CT)
City of New London
Project Area: City of New London, Connecticut
LISFF Grants: $35,000; Matching Funds: $21,500

The City of New London will conduct an assessment of the current condition of the city's natural resources and watershed health. This project will develop a plan which provides a concrete vision for a sustainable and resilient urban shoreline community.

Water Quality Monitoring to Improve Fairfield County Waterways and Long Island Sound (CT)
Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center, Inc.
Project Area: Belden Hill Brook, Deep Brook, Farm Creek, Muddy Brook, Pequonnock River, Pootatuck River, Pussy Willow Brook, Sasco Brook, Saugatuck River, and Silvermine River, Five Mile River Harbor, Norwalk Harbor and Saugatuck Harbor, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $74,493; Matching Funds: $59,594

Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center, Inc. will conduct water quality monitoring to help improve 10 waterways affected by pollution in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The water quality data collected through this project will be used to inform local government actions to reduce sewage pollution into Long Island Sound.

Urban Oases: Community-based Education, Conservation and Outreach to Enhance Habitats around Long Island Sound (CT)
Connecticut Audubon Society
Project Area: City of New Haven and Town of Hamden, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $44,918; Matching Funds: $46,426

Connecticut Audubon Society will engage teachers, students and community members to enhance urban green spaces in the City of New Haven and Town of Hamden, Connecticut. The project will engage 12,000 people in local environmental education to increase the availability of habitat in urban parks and schoolyards for migrating birds and other wildlife.

Rain and Pollinator Gardens for Schools in the Connecticut River Estuary (CT)
Connecticut Audubon Society
Project Area: Essex, Deep River and Chester, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $15,443; Matching Funds: $12,014

Connecticut Audubon Society will guide student-led planning and installation of rain and pollinator gardens at schools in the Connecticut River Estuary including Essex, Deep River and Chester, Connecticut. This project will enhance existing schoolyard habitats, adding features that reduce 4,675 gallons of stormwater pollution annually while providing students and teachers with an example of sustainable conservation action for Long Island Sound.

Schooner Coastal Exploration, Stewardship, and Environmental Education about Long Island Sound (CT)
New Haven Land Trust
Project Area: Long Wharf Nature Preserve, Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve and New Haven Harbor, New Haven, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $45,000; Matching Funds: $79,000

New Haven Land Trust will provide hands-on educational programming for underserved youth and families through summer camp, on-the-water programs, public education and outreach events, and school-based programs focusing on protection of Long Island Sound water and land resources in New Haven, Connecticut. This project will increase appreciation and awareness of and provide sustainable recreational activities to the Sound for over 800 people.

Stormwater Management Programs to Improve Water Quality in New Haven and Long Island Sound (CT)
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
Project Area: Newhallville Neighborhood, New Haven, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $14,398; Matching Funds: $43,335

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven will develop classroom-based programs and community-based, volunteer-driven environmental events in New Haven, Connecticut. The project will educate local residents about how to reduce stormwater from their homes into the West River and Long Island Sound.

Engaging New Landscaping Professionals in Non-toxic Landscaping Practices for Long Island Sound (CT)
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut
Project Area: Goodwin College, East Hartford, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $44,937; Matching Funds: $23,200

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut will host two educational courses on non-toxic property management practices that reduce non-point source pollution entering Long Island Sound. This project will provide training for approximately 70 local landscapers in English and Spanish to help them transition to practices that decrease common fertilizer, phosphorous and pesticide used to reduce overall nitrogen pollution from entering Long Island Sound.

Sound Discoveries – Education through Exploration (CT)
Mystic Aquarium
Project Area: Mystic Aquarium, Denison Pequotesepos Nature Center and Avalonia Land Conservancy, Mystic, Connecticut
LISFF Grant: $8,651; Matching Funds: $5,973

Mystic Aquarium will host an experiential and hands-on environmental education program to immerse students and families in the habitats of Long Island Sound in Mystic, Connecticut. The project will increase knowledge about the natural resources of Long Island Sound and actions people can take to improve it.

Producing and Implementing a Community-supported Long Island Sound Blue Plan (CT, NY)
The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut
Project Area: Coastal communities in Connecticut and New York that border Long Island Sound
LISFF Grant: $44,986; Matching Funds: $51,904

The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut will finalize the Long Island Sound Blue Plan in Connecticut and New York. The project will create a community supported plan to protect marine life in Long Island Sound.

Partnering for Marine Debris & Trash Prevention and Animal Rescue around Long Island Sound (CT, NY)
Mystic Aquarium
Project Area: Mystic, New London, Norwich and Hartford, Connecticut; Fisher's Island, New York
LISFF Grant: $44,587; Matching Funds: $46,062

Mystic Aquarium will offer education and stewardship opportunities that focus on the impact of marine debris on marine species, engaging coastal and non-coastal community members in Connecticut and New York. The project will increase public awareness to reduce marine debris, trash and fishing gear from entering Long Island Sound.

Projects Benefitting Massachusetts

Enhancing Nitrogen Removal at the South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Plant (MA)
Town of South Hadley
Project Area: South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Facility, Chicopee, Massachusetts.
LISFF Grant: $145,000; Matching Funds: $145,000

The Town of South Hadley will replace one mechanical aerator at the South Hadley Wastewater Treatment Plant in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The project will decrease the point source of nitrogen discharge to the Long Island Sound watershed by an estimated 14,000 pounds of nitrogen annually.

Enhancing Nitrogen Removal at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (MA)
Springfield Water and Sewer Commission
Project Area: Connecticut River, Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, Springfield, Massachusetts
LISFF Grant: $51,146; Matching Funds: $30,000

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission will install nitrogen sensors and use information from those sensors to improve operations during the biological treatment process at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. The project will eliminate nitrogen discharges by 1,000 pounds annually into the Connecticut River which drains into Long Island Sound.

Projects Benefitting Vermont

Innovative Liquid Wastewater Diversion Technology to Reduce Nitrogen in the Long Island Sound Watershed (VT)
The Rich Earth Institute
Project Area: Five urine diversion replication sites around Windham County, Vermont, including Hermit Thrush Brewery, Camp Waubanong, Green Mountain Girls Camp, The Grammar School and One Connecticut River Watershed Village
LISFF Grant: $115,720; Matching Funds: $156,150

The Rich Earth Institute will install innovative technology to divert liquid wastewater, a source of nitrogen, from five sites in Windham County, Vermont. The project will prevent 350 pounds of nitrogen from entering the Connecticut River and ultimately Long Island Sound.

Identifying and Installing New Liquid Wastewater Diversion in Windham County, Vermont
Rich Earth Institute
Project Area: Windham County, Vermont
LISFF Grant: $29,767; Matching Funds: $20,250
Total Project: $50,250

The Rich Earth Institute will identify new sites to install innovative liquid wastewater diversion technology in Windham County, Vermont. The project planning will secure sites to install a technology designed to reduce nitrogen entering the Connecticut River and ultimately Long Island Sound.