Nearly a third of the wetlands along Long Island Sound have disappeared since the 1880s, representing a serious loss of this vital resource for coastal communities and for fish and wildlife. The decline has been documented in a study just published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with assistance from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Conducted under the Long Island Sound Study partnership, the work is the first long-term, Sound-wide assessment of the changes in the area of tidal wetlands.
“This report documents a staggering amount of wetlands that have been lost. It should sound the bell for strong action at every level of government and in the business community to reverse this troubling trend,” said EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Wetlands provide enormous economic, environmental and flood protection benefits, but they are threatened by overdevelopment and the impacts of climate change. By working together, government and Long Island Sound communities can strengthen shorelines and the health of wetlands, protecting water quality, fish and wildlife habitats, and coastal communities."