U.S. Senate to vote on L.I. Sound restoration bill amendment

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Coast of the Long Island Sound in Greenport.
The Long Island Sound in Greenport. (Photo by Carrie Miller)

New legislation that would provide $325 million in federal funding for a Long Island Sound restoration project is heading to the U.S. Senate for a vote, according to a press release issued by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s office.

The bill — sponsored by Mr. Schumer, fellow New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy — amends the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act  to provide additional funding through through 2016.

About $2.9 million has been allocated this year for the restoration project, down from nearly $7.8 million in 2010, according to the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Researchers from the not-for-profit Long Island Sound Study released a report in 2012 that found overdevelopment, pollution, and the release of sewage from underground septic systems have each contributed to an overall decline in water quality.

Both Mr. Schumer and Ms. Gillibrand said in a press release additional funding is critically important to protect and enhance the Sound.

“This Act would significantly bolster efforts to make the Sound a safe and clean place for all New Yorkers to boat, fish and recreate for generations to come, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to pass it,” Mr. Schumer said.

“With more than 8 million people living along its waters, the Sound is not only critical to Long Island and Westchester’s environment and economy, but the entire region,” Ms. Gillibrand said.

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