EPA Highlights Historic $106 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Benefitting Long Island Sound
EPA’s Long Island Sound Study Program to receive $106M over five years under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
NEW YORK – Today, EPA and partners from Connecticut and New York virtually celebrated $106 million over a five-year period going to the Long Island Sound Study Program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). This unprecedented funding will significantly help improve Long Island Sound’s environmental health, climate resilience, and economic vitality in an equitable manner in communities across the Sound’s watershed. Joining EPA’s Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe were Connecticut Governor Lamont; U.S. Senators Blumenthal, Murphy, and Gillibrand; U.S. Representatives DeLauro, Courtney, Himes, Hayes, and Jones; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos; EPA Region 1 Regional Administrator David Cash and EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa Garcia; and Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee Co-Chairs Nancy Seligson and Holly Drinkuth.
“Long Island Sound is an essential resource for millions of people living along one of the most populated coastlines in the country. Investing in water infrastructure directly benefits the Sound while strengthening the health of all of our communities,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $106 million going directly to Long Island Sound, we have a historic opportunity to do what is right, to deliver important environmental improvements, to confront longstanding inequities, and to Build a Better America—one that is healthier, more inclusive, and protective of all our communities.”
This funding will catalyze the implementation of current and future work by EPA and its partners to protect and restore Long Island Sound and protecting its watershed. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will assist communities in reducing stormwater pollution, decreasing flooding, increasing coastal resiliency, improving water and wastewater infrastructure, and restoring vital habitats. Specific initiatives under this funding include:
- Creating a new Environmental Justice (EJ) program to provide technical assistance to build capacity among organizations that work with underserved communities;
- Administering a grants program to support projects in communities with environmental justice concerns;
- Providing technical and financial assistance to communities for planning and implementing projects to increase coastal resiliency;
- Improving water and wastewater infrastructure, including green infrastructure and stormwater practices to reduce water pollution and flooding;
- Restoring and protecting habitats critical to water quality, living resources, and recreational activities.
Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is making the single largest investment in water that the federal government has ever made by investing more than $50 billion to improve our nation’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. In 2022, EPA is providing $7.4 billion through the law to the State Revolving Funds, with more to come in the next five years. In December, Administrator Regan sent a letter to Governors of every state and territory, calling for resources to be targeted to overburdened communities, to make rapid progress on lead-free water for all, and to tackle forever chemicals.
What they are saying:
- New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Across the state, we are investing in preserving and protecting our natural resources for future generations. This critical funding will accelerate the implementation of innovative and sustainable strategies to enhance water quality, improve vital habitats, help underserved communities, and protect our coastlines from the impacts of climate change throughout the Long Island Sound watershed. I thank President Biden and our partners in Congress for providing this funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and we look forward to building on our partnership with EPA and Connecticut through the Long Island Sound Study and other initiatives to protect and restore the Sound.”
- “I fought hard to deliver a wave of funding for the Long Island Sound Restoration Program in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act because the Sound is a priceless natural resource for recreation, boating, fishing, aesthetics and more. This substantial $106 million investment will continue the years-long work to protect and restore the Long Island Sound. Restoring the Sound is critical for the millions of people who benefit from its economic and recreational benefits. The cooperative effort between the EPA, the State of New York, and local stakeholders has contributed to a healthier Sound and I look forward to continuing this partnership to protect this ecological treasure,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer.
- “As New York’s Senior Appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee, I am thrilled that the federal infrastructure bill I helped pass through Congress includes this crucial funding, which will seek to further improve Long Island Sound’s environmental health, climate resilience and economic vitality, among other things,” said U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06). “The Long Island Sound is among our most precious natural resources here in the New York region. It is critical to our environment and our economy. We must do all we can to preserve and protect it, and I look forward to this money helping to ensure that this happens. Thank you to EPA Regions 1 and 2 for highlighting the importance of this funding.”
- “The Long Island Sound is our ‘National Park,’ and we have to treat it that way. Since coming to Congress in 2017, I have helped to increase federal funding for the Sound by 900%. This BIL funding, which I also helped secure, builds on the momentum to preserve and protect the Sound not only as an environmental treasure but as a revenue source to our area for generations to come,” said U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-03).
- “I am excited that New York is receiving critical aid to invest in water infrastructure and in turn address our local environment and climate, in the form of $106 million for the Long Island Sound over five years,” said U.S. Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). “These funds will directly impact and improve our communities in New York and other nearby states, and I will do everything I can to ensure these funds are allocated quickly and efficiently. By committing these resources, we are making a direct change in environmental health, climate resilience, and economic vitality in an equitable manner that will improve the future of our children, New York, and our country.”
- “By helping pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law late last year, I’m proud to be delivering $106 million to fund the Long Island Sound Study,” said U.S. Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17). “From promoting coastal resiliency to reducing flooding, this study is critical to rebuilding our infrastructure and protecting our most marginalized communities that, all too often, bear the brunt of our climate crisis. After Hurricane Ida ravaged our communities late last year, we felt the catastrophic impacts of climate change in Westchester and Rockland, with homes damaged, businesses destroyed, and lives lost. The need for bold, decisive climate action is more urgent than ever before, and I’m thrilled to be taking a major step in tackling this crisis today.”
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Thanks to sustained and collaborative efforts to control pollution, restore habitat, and manage natural resources by New York State and our many partners, the Long Island Sound is on its way to full recovery. DEC is grateful for the historic investments advanced by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and U.S. EPA, which will bring us closer to achieving our stewardship goals, and with a renewed focus on ensuring all Long Island Sound communities are engaged in this critical work, so we can continue our progress throughout the watershed.”
- “The funding from the BIL is an important boost to the enormous needs of ongoing restoration work on Long Island Sound,” said Nancy Seligson, former Mamaroneck Town Supervisor and NY Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee. “Over 10% of the US population lives within 50 miles of Long Island Sound making it one of the most important estuaries in the country. This funding will inspire the design and implementation of projects that will address climate change impacts, environmental justice concerns and water quality improvements."
- “Long Island Sound is a vital natural resource not just for Connecticut and the entire northeast. The Sound is a unique estuary that contributes so much to our quality of life, is a critical fish and marine wildlife habitat, and is a critical component of our economy,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “Thanks to the leadership of the Biden Administration and our amazing congressional delegation, $106 million in new federal investment through the bipartisan infrastructure law will enhance our work to protect this treasure."
- “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver significant financial resources to protect the Sound from the impacts of climate change, clean up the mistakes of previous generations, and to enhance its vitality. The Long Island Sound is a beloved national treasure that must be preserved for future generations to enjoy. This historic federal investment ensures that the Long Island Sound will remain one of Connecticut’s most important resources,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
- “Connecticut relies on a healthy Long Island Sound, and $106 million in federal funding is a huge deal for its protection and longevity. I was proud to help secure this historic funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will increase coastal resiliency, restore habitats, and improve water quality while supporting good-paying jobs in Connecticut communities,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
- “Having grown up on its shores, the Long Island Sound has always held a special place in my heart,” said U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03). “This monumental federal investment in the Long Island Sound Study included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is crucial to ensuring that the Sound remains a treasured natural resource for the millions that live along the coast and benefit from its beaches and waters. The $106 million in funding over the next five years – in addition to the $40 million I am fighting for in regular appropriations – is pivotal to the EPA’s work to protect the Sound, improve water and wastewater infrastructure, and guarantee that the Long Island Sound remains a strong contributor to the regional economy. As Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus and as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have secured this funding with my Congressional colleagues and will continue working to ensure that the Sound remains a place for children and families to enjoy for generations to come.”
- “We made the largest federal investment ever in the Long Island Sound Watershed by passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I am proud that this funding includes support for water infrastructure improvements and environmental justice assistance in the Greater Hartford area. Revitalizing the Sound has been a long-standing priority of the Connecticut Congressional delegation, and I thank my colleagues in Connecticut and the Long Island Sound Caucus for their steadfast advocacy,” said U.S. Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01).
- "Protecting and preserving Long Island Sound is crucial for eastern Connecticut,” U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) said. “Our region's maritime economy depends on the Sound and its surrounding areas for business, education, and recreation, and we must ensure that these economic and environmental benefits remain for future generations. As a co-chair of the bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus, I am proud that the infrastructure law makes a significant investment in the future of the Sound, which is also an investment in the ecological and economic infrastructure of our region.”
- “The Sound is central to work and play in Connecticut,” said U.S. Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04). “It’s essential that we act as responsible stewards of The Sound and surrounding environment, protecting the health of our communities and fragile ecosystems. These funds will support this mission and improve quality of life for families in Connecticut and across the region.”
- “I am pleased the Long Island Sound Study Program will receive funding made possible by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),” said U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05). “Whether you live on the coast or inland, the Sound is vitally important to our economic and environmental outlook in Connecticut. The $106 million in funding from the IIJA will make conservation efforts possible and have a lasting impact on our state. We fought hard for this funding and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Connecticut delegation to preserve the Sound.”
- Holly Drinkuth, Director of Outreach and Watershed Programs for The Nature Conservancy and CT Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee said, “The BIL includes big wins for the environment — and for the ability of communities around the Sound to adapt to a changing climate. In addition to funds for the estuary program targeted at restoring habitats and reducing water pollution, programs like FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant can help communities take on climate-resilient infrastructure projects we need to withstand rising seas and intensifying storms.”
For more information on EPA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit: https://www.epa.gov/infrastructure.