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Connecticut Delegation Applauds $10 million to Improve Long Island Sound Watershed Water Quality

January 15, 2015
Press Release

Hartford, CT – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and the Connecticut Congressional delegation today issued a joint statement applauding $10 million in federal funds to improve water quality throughout the Long Island Sound watershed. The funds were among $370 million awarded nationwide by the United States Department of Agriculture’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which seeks to enhance water quality, support wildlife habitats and enhance the environment.

“The Long Island Sound is the lifeblood of our region—one of the most vibrant and productive ecosystems in the world, sustaining our local economy and nurturing our state’s diverse natural beauty. This grant recognizes that it is not only the Sound itself, but its 16,820-square-mile watershed spanning six states and the Connecticut, Housatonic and Thames rivers that must be protected and preserved. This competitive grant will launch a new regional partnership to improve water quality throughout the watershed, managing nutrients in the Sound and nearby farm land, preserving our regional forests and farms, and strengthening the Sound and its coastal flood plains against extreme weather and climate change. As agriculture continues to grow throughout the state and region, this effort marries longstanding conservation efforts along the shoreline with vital measures to protect and preserve the health of our farmland upriver. We applaud the Connecticut Council on Soil and Water Conservation for their leadership in convening this important new partnership, and look forward to continuing to support this effort in the years to come.”

Earlier this year, Connecticut’s House delegation joined with other regional members of the House in sending a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in support of the Long Island Sound Watershed grant application. Last year, the Connecticut Congressional delegation issued a letter of support for the application.

In addition to the $10 million awarded to the Long Island Sound Watershed, the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program also awarded two $400,000 grants to the University of Connecticut to improve agricultural water security, and to the Last Green Valley Inc. to improve soil health and water quality in the Thames River Watershed.