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LI watershed gets $10 million federal boost

The Long Island Sound Watershed got a $10 million boost in funding to help preserve agriculture, improve soil health and buffer coastal communities from storms, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said Wednesday.

"This major investment will help better protect and conserve the Long Island Sound Watershed, which so many local farmers rely on, and which protects all Long Islanders from storms and flooding," said Schumer, a Democrat. "Improving water quality in the Long Island Sound is a priority for all Long Islanders, including farmers, fishers and families, and I am pleased that the USDA is investing in Long Island's wildlife, water quality and environment."

The funding, which comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Regional Conservation Partnership Program, will be used to assist farmers in implementing whole-farm nutrient management programs and to protect agriculture and forestry, according to a joint statement from the lawmakers.

It is one of four grants totaling $30.5 million devoted to projects in New York State for wildlife, the environment and improving water quality.

"The Long Island Sound Watershed is not only a treasured natural resource that must be protected, but it is also a key economic anchor in our state," said Gillibrand, a Democrat who serves on the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, and who was lead Senate sponsor of the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act. "This critical funding is an important step in the right direction as we continue fighting to protect the Sound and work to help the local farmers who rely on its resources."

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