DeLauro announces $8 million in funding secured for Long Island Sound
NEW HAVEN >> After an initial scare when President Donald Trump presented a budget that would eliminate federal funding for Long Island Sound, U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3, announced Monday that Connecticut and Long Island representatives had secured $8 million for the waterway.
“This is an enormous victory for our community and the Long Island Sound,” DeLauro said while standing in front of the Long Wharf Pier.
With 120 species of fish and an estimated contribution of $17 billion to $37 billion to the regional economy, DeLauro said the funds are crucial to the local ecology and economy.
“This is a national treasure,” DeLauro said.
DeLauro said the original request for funding was $10 million, but “we’re still grateful” for the $8 million.
Curt Johnson, executive director of Save the Sound, said the $8 million was a near doubling of previous funding.
Johnson said the increase of $4 million in funding means the funds for grant projects will increase from $1.2 million annually to $2.5 million.
“There will be money to slay the nitrogen dragon,” he said.
State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said the funding will help increase resiliency in the community at a time when global warming threatens many global ecosystems.
“The Long Island Sound is so important to Connecticut; it’s really what makes Connecticut a great place to live and work,” Klee said.
Klee said he remembers enjoying the Sound while he was growing up in Fairfield, and now his children have the same opportunities because of generational efforts to protect and sustain the Sound, and bipartisan efforts among Connecticut and Long Island legislators have made that a continued possibility.