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LaLota pushes for Long Island Sound project to be funded through 2028

Stony Brook Harbor — Stony Brook, N.Y.
J.D. Allen
/
WSHU
Stony Brook, N.Y.

Long Island Congressman Nick LaLota (R-NY) called on lawmakers to pass the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act. It would fund projects to address ecological issues in and around the Sound through 2028.

Silver Sands State Park — Milford, Conn.
Sabrina Garone
/
WSHU
Silver Sands State Park — Milford, Conn.

LaLota co-chairs the Long Island Sound Caucus along with Congressman Joe Courtney of Connecticut. He said the longevity and health of the Sound is critical for the region’s residents.

“For many, the Long Island Sound and our waterways are our way of life," LaLota said. "From environmentalists to fishermen and anglers, from animal welfare advocates and engineers and more — the Sound is how folks provide a better future for their families.” 

The Long Island Sound Program has been consistently funded by Congress since it was established in 1985.

“Ask anyone on Long Island, really — the Sound has certainly had its fair share of issues," LaLota said. "Pollution, overdevelopment, algae, water quality and dumping, are just a few of the issues we have endured in the last several decades.” 

Black-bellied gulls in Stony Brook Harbor — Stony Brook, N.Y.
J.D. Allen
/
WSHU
Black-backed gulls in Stony Brook Harbor — Stony Brook, N.Y.

Officials say the program has helped to restore thousands of acres of coastal habitat and funded hundreds of conservation projects. Progress has also been made in reducing high levels of nitrogen in the watershed, but the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County's Chris Pickerell said there is more work to be done.

"Stromwater, point and nonpoint-sourced pollution, overland flow — those things affect everything from oxygen concentrations, ocean acidification, die-offs," Pickerell said. "It's the most important thing to control that nitrogen getting into the water."

Last year the program received $40 million in funding, the largest amount granted in its history.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.