Long Island Sound is a vital part of Long Island’s economy, recreation and fishing industries. U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has announced that the soon-to-pass federal spending bill will include $21 million to fund the Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound program, an increase of $7 million from the year prior. This is the highest level of funding for the LI Sound program in twenty-six years.

“The Long Island Sound is a natural treasure and an economic engine for the whole region that draws families, boaters, tourists and anglers to our shores. Securing $21 million in federal funds will allow us to keep a focus on restoring and protecting the beaches and waters in and around the Sound. It was imperative to accomplish this win for current and future generations, and it has been imperative to use my job as senate democratic leader to fight for this cause.” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

“This is a landmark day for our nation’s greatest urban estuary. The increase in funding will clean our waters, bring back abundant wildlife and make our communities and shores more resilient to climate change,” said Curt Johnson, President of CFE/Save the Sound. “Long Island Sound is one of the most productive ecosystems in America and a major economic engine for our region. It now serves as an example of what smart environmental management, with consistent local and federal support can achieve. Many thanks to Senator Schumer, Congresswoman Lowey and our entire New York and Connecticut delegations for leading the charge.”

"Thank you to Senator Schumer and Congress for leading the effort to increase investments for the restoration of Long Island Sound," said Nancy Seligson, Town of Mamaroneck Supervisor, and NY Co-chair of Citizens Advisory Committee and Long Island Sound Study. "This funding supports and leverages state and local projects for resilient, sustainable and environmentally just communities and provides the scientific research and data needed to effectively manage for cleaner, healthier waters. With these investments, the Long Island Sound, its rivers, harbors and bays will continue to provide fishing, boating, swimming and up to $31 billion annually to the regional economy."

The Long Island Sound is one of 28 estuaries included in the National Estuary Program, and with more than 23 million people living within 50 miles of the Sound, it is a major contributor of economic development and a source of recreation for residents and visitors alike. According to the Long Island Sound Study, the annual economic value of the sound is approximately $8.9 billion. The Sound is home to more than 120 species of fish, which contribute to our states’ vibrant commercial and recreational fishing industries.

In 1985, the EPA, in agreement with the States of New York and Connecticut, created the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), an office under the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) charged with advancing efforts to restore the sound and address low oxygen levels and nitrogen levels that have depleted fish and shellfish populations as well as hurt shoreline wetlands. In 1990, the Long Island Sound Improvement Act passed providing federal dollars to advance Sound cleanup projects, including wastewater treatment improvements. In 2006, identifying the need for increased stakeholder participation and the need to focus on coastal restoration and improved public access and education, Congress passed the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act, which provided federal dollars for projects to restore the coastal habitat to help revitalize the wildlife population and coastal wetlands and plant life.