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$1.3M in grant money for LI Sound initiatives

Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport), left, stands

Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport), left, stands atop a man-made wetland in Cold Spring Harbor with Nature Conservancy marine biologist Chris Clapp on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. The project is being funded in part by grants from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund. Credit: Johnny Milano

State and federal officials Monday morning announced $1.3 million in grants to 25 projects focused on improving the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound.

The projects will restore 27 acres of coastal forest, dunes and salt marshes in New York and Connecticut.

The grants come from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, using contributions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Grantees also will contribute another $1.3 million, bringing the total for the projects to $2.6 million.

Federal officials said the grants will reach more than 395,000 residents in both states and will treat 1 million gallons of water and collect 6,000 pounds of floating trash.

“These projects will support vital and diverse initiatives throughout the region,” EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck said in a news release.

More than $450,000 in grants will go to nine projects with Long Island roots, including water quality monitoring in Manhasset Bay, a healthy soil farming initiative in the Town of Southold and nitrogen-reducing wastewater treatment systems in Shoreham and Cold Spring Harbor.

The money also will fund educational outreach in Cold Spring Harbor, Oyster Bay, Centre Island, Port Jefferson, and Caumsett and Sunken Meadow state parks. The initiatives include lessons on using native plants in gardens, how to protect local water resources and reducing threats to shorebirds like piping plovers, least terns and American oystercatchers.

“This year, funded projects will help youth and adults become active stewards of the outdoors and introduce them to wildlife around them,” Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber said in a news release. “Additionally, work will help restore the health of our rivers, coastal marshes, and forests for the benefit of fish, wildlife and coastal communities.”

Started in 2005, the Long Island Sound Futures Fund has invested $15 million in 352 projects and grantees have added another $30 million.


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