Projects in New York and Connecticut to improve the health of Long Island Sound will receive almost $1.3 million in grants from a coalition of state and federal organizations, as well as environmental organizations.

More than $484,000 in grants will go toward projects specific to Long Island, including rain garden planting, water quality monitoring, an educational campaign to stop people from flushing pharmaceuticals down the toilet, and an effort to help farmers reduce fertilizer impacts.

"These grants will support vital and diverse projects throughout the region to improve water quality and remove pollution from Long Island Sound watershed, and involve the public in the protection of one of the nation's most important natural treasures," EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck said in a news release.

Grant winners include Cornell Cooperative Association of Suffolk County, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Village of Sea Cliff, and Oyster Bay Town.

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The projects are paid for through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, a pool of money supplied by EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative.

Winners of the grants also contribute money toward the projects.

Grants for a coastal bird stewardship and outreach program, three fish-passage projects and an environmental health report card also were awarded and will affect both New York and Connecticut.