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Hochul announces new plan to preserve Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve

Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday an updated five year plan to help preserve the south shore of Long Island.

The goal of the 2022 Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan is to guide local communities to better protect and restore the region’s natural resources and economy. It’s supported by $1 million in annual state funding.

“Protecting Long Island's waterways and shorelines has never been more important as we face the growing and unprecedented effects of climate change and regular threats to water quality and ecological health,” said Governor Hochul in a press release. “I am proud to announce this comprehensive management plan for the South Shore Estuary Reserve, which is a rich and diverse ecosystem that not only provides key benefits to Long Island's economy, recreation and tourism, but also better prepares New York for a changing climate.”

In 1993, the state established the South Shore Estuary Reserve, which protects 70-miles of beaches, bays and tidal marshes that are home to wildlife and over 1.5 million New Yorkers.

The region has faced many obstacles over the last two decades. Pathogens, pesticides and microplastics have been found in the water, shellfish stocks have been decreasing and local sea turtle population has struggled.

Hochuls said the plan will make Long Island’s south shore more climate resilient with a focus on the region’s tourism and fishing industries. It will also be able to safely produce multiple parks and nature preserves that provide opportunities to swim, boat, fish, hike, observe wildlife and relax.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.