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Larson, Connecticut Delegation Applaud Federal EPA Grants for Community Organizations Working to Protect Long Island Sound

November 16, 2016
Press Release
Community Organizations Received Over $600,000 To Support Conservation Projects

Washington — Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Reps. Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jim Himes (CT-04), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) on Wednesday applauded over $600,000 in federal Long Island Sound Futures Fund grants to eleven community conservation projects throughout Connecticut. The projects will focus on coastal habitat restoration and improving water quality in the Long Island Sound and waterways that feed into the Sound. The federal funds are from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Our state relies on a healthy Long Island Sound. Whether it’s training student conservation workers, creating fish passages at dams, or restoring coastal habitats for wildlife, community organizations across the state are doing incredible work to protect our coastline. These federal funds will go a long way to leverage increased investment in their projects. Congratulations to all the organizations that received Long Island Sound Futures Fund grants,” said the delegation.

Further details on the grant awardees are below:

  • Bridgeport: Coastal Stewardship and Youth Conservation Training Program at Pleasure Beach: The Connecticut Audubon Society will receive $35,000 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $35,100, to employ ten students at Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to conserve beach-nesting coastal birds and provide training to twenty-five city employees on conservation efforts at the beach.
  • Bridgeport: Green Infrastructure for Beardsley Zoo: The Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound will receive $149,833 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $75,880, to install green infrastructure, including enhancing existing lawn areas with bioretention gardens and tree pits and replacing 4,000 square feet of pavement to better capture and treat 1,000,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year.
  • Centerbrook: Planning for Restoring Fish Passage on the Falls River: The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut will receive $59,982 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $40,960, to design fish passages at two dams along the Falls River, opening up 45 acres and a mile and a half of stream habitat for alewife and blueback herring. The Nature Conservancy will also expand public education programs on river health and the critical connection between freshwater habitats and Long Island Sound.
  • Fairfield County: Coastal Youth Stewards: The North American Marine Environment Protection Association will receive $6,917 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $5,236, to engage in beach clean-ups with 150 students from Bridgeport, Stamford, Ridgefield,  Southport and Fairfield. The project will prevent over 1,500 pounds of debris from entering Long Island Sound waters and encourage students to become environmental stewards through hands-on education on the Sound.
  • Fairfield County: Engaging Student Scientists for Long Island Sound: Earthplace - The Nature Discovery will receive $32,829 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $34,050, to engage over forty high school and college students in Fairfield County in practical learning programs to prepare them for careers in conservation.
  • Farmington Valley: River Smart Community Stormwater Education in the Farmington River Watershed for Long Island Sound: The Farmington River Watershed Association will receive $31,173 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $32,810, to develop a community outreach program aimed at reducing polluted stormwater in towns along the Pequabuck and Still Rivers, including Simsbury, Farmington, Avon, Barkhamsted, Winsted, and Bristol.
  • Groton: Sound Engagement for Families at Mystic Aquarium, Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, Pawcatuck, and Bluff Point State Park: The Sea Research Foundation at Mystic Aquarium will receive $9,300 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $11,895, to conduct community engagement programs, including a Long Island Sound Day celebration.
  • Norwalk: Village Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Demonstration: The Norwalk Land Trust will receive $20,000 in federal EPA funds for the restoration of eight acres of salt meadows in Norwalk.
  • Storrs: A Blue Marine Plan for Long Island Sound: The University of Connecticut will receive $34,997 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $29,997, to create an online resource for the Sound’s watershed along Connecticut and New York. The resource will help to develop a “Blue Marine Plan” to keep track of ecological, economic, and recreational activity along the Sound to better protect and restore it.
  • Stratford: Coastal Dune Restoration at Stratford Point: Sacred Heart University will receive $200,000 in federal EPA funds to restore 1.5 acres of coastal dune habitats of coastal birds and the tiger beetle at Stratford Point.
  • StoningtonStonington Harbor and Coastline Water Quality Monitoring and Education Initiative: The Sea Research Foundation at Mystic Aquarium will receive $24,671 in federal EPA funds, along with a grantee match of $24,710, to monitor and identify local pollution sources, including nitrogen pollution, along the coast and conduct a public education program.

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