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CT Wins $1.2 Million To Fund Long Island Sound Projects Across State

Deborah Szaro of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discusses efforts to protect and preserve Long Island Sound in Stratford. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The lighthouse at Stratford Point Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

STRATFORD, Conn. — Eighteen Connecticut environmental projects — from wildlife preserve restoration in Westport to water pollution monitoring across Fairfield County — will move forward thanks to $1.2 million in grant funding announced Thursday.

Federal and state officials announced a total of 20 grants — some of which will benefit other states — to local government and community groups seeking to improve the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound.

“This is a very special place, Long Island Sound,” said Deborah Szaro, acting regional administrator in the New England region for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “There’s millions of people that rely on the Sound.”

Szaro was joined by other environmental leaders in announcing the grants at Stratford Point, which has been the site of ongoing shore improvement to protect vital habitats.

Michael Liberati, principal project director for corporate remediation group at Dow DuPont Co., called the site “a model for restoration.”

The 2017 projects are funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund and will restore 39 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife, including coastal forest, grassland, river and tidal marshes.

The grants are expected to impact more than 870,000 residents through environmental and conservation education programs. Water quality improvement projects will treat 439,000 gallons of water runoff, reducing harmful nitrogen and removing 2,800 pounds of floating trash.

Earthplace received more than $54,000 to monitor water quality in eight waterways in Fairfield County.

Connecticut Audubon Society will use its $134,047 to restore 33 acres of the H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve in Westport.

Another $60,645 will help the National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut) create a network of school habitats at 25 schools in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Other grants will fund training programs in organic land care, a Long Island Sound Summit for urban youth, development of an engineered plan for a fish passage at a dam and more.

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