$500,000 secured for Long Island Sound environmental projects in New York

Some of the federal funding for LI will go toward Hempstead Harbor water quality testing and rain gardens in Port Jefferson.

On Tuesday, EPA regional director Pete Lopez discussed federal grants for Long Island Sound environmental projects that will include plastic cleanup, Hempstead Harbor water quality testing and building rain gardens in Port Jefferson. (Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Loarca)

Federal officials on Tuesday announced almost $2.6 million in grants for Long Island Sound environmental projects, including $500,000 for New York projects.

Projects on Long Island include a plan for a mesh sea turtle statue to be stuffed with cleaned-up plastic, water quality testing in Hempstead Harbor and rain gardens in Port Jefferson.

“The funding is seed money, the funding is investments,” Environmental Protection Agency Regional Director Pete Lopez said during the presentation at Port Jefferson Village Center. “The funding is leading to improvements in the Long Island Sound.”

The 36 grants funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund combines money from the EPA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a congressionally mandated organization that administers the grant.

Long Island projects include:

  • $67,500 for Group for the East End to remove invasive species, restore habitat and conduct outreach at Hallock State Park Preserve in Jamesport.
  • $75,000 for water quality monitoring at Hempstead Harbor. Funding will go through the village of Sea Cliff and Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee to the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor.
  • $41,000 for Audubon New York to hold a program to encourage people to “share the shore” with birds, including the piping plover and terns.
  • $45,000 for Citizens Campaign for the Environment to conduct an anti-plastic pollution campaign, including against plastic straws. Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the group, said a mesh statue of a sea turtle planned for Sunken Meadow State Park will be filled with plastic collected in beach cleanups.
  • $43,000 to the Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson to build a series of rain gardens, which help clean storm runoff and educate the public.

Grants also went to projects in New York City, Westchester, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, which are in the Long Island Sound watershed. The money will be matched with $3.1 million in grants from local governments and community groups.

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