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Conn. Lawmakers Push For Long Island Sound Study

Davis Dunavin

When Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy delivers his budget proposal to lawmakers next week, it’ll include funding for a comprehensive study of Long Island Sound, designed to give the state an inventory of resources like plants, animals, and minerals in the sound.

Called "the Blue Plan," it’s the same study lawmakers tried and failed to approve last year; it came up late in the legislative session, and the clock ran out before it could get a vote. Since then, Malloy and the lawmakers who support it have been anxious to bring it back for consideration. They include State Senators Edward Kennedy Jr. and Tony Hwang, co-chairs of the Environment Committee, where the bill is currently up for consideration. Malloy says it’s worth the $1.5 million price tag.

“For the first time we’d actually have a sound-wide understanding,” he said. “As opposed to someone saying, ‘Hey I wanna do something in this portion of the sound,’ and not having the data or the information necessary to say, ‘Hey, if we have to do something like that, there’s a better place to do it.”

Lawmakers and advocates joined Malloy Monday at Branford’s Owenego resort on the sound.

“I would bet that each of us have some place in Long Island Sound that matters to us,” said Nathan Frohling, director of the Nature Conservancy in New London. “Whether we fish out here, whether we boat out here, whether our job is shipping commerce here, there’s some part of Long Island Sound that matters a lot. Fundamentally, this plan is about protecting those places and making sure they’re still here for us tomorrow.”

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have done their own studies off the Atlantic coast, and New York state is doing a study off the north and south shores of Long Island. DEEP Officials say the Connecticut study would take around three years to complete.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.