© 2022 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Plum Island Supporters Declare Victory

In this Oct. 6, 2010 file photo, people on a tour of Plum Island, N.Y., off the coast of Long Island, watch seals relaxing on the rocky shore.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
/
In this Oct. 6, 2010 file photo, people on a tour of Plum Island, N.Y., off the coast of Long Island, watch seals relaxing on the rocky shore.

Environmentalists and lawmakers in Connecticut and New York have declared a major victory in a years-long fight to preserve Plum Island from development.

The federal government owns the island off Long Island’s North Fork. It’s been used for an animal disease research lab for 60 years. In 2008, they decided to move the lab to Kansas and sell Plum Island to the highest bidder.

The 2021 federal spending bill repealed laws that mandated the sale and opened it up to public conservation. Curt Johnson is with Save the Sound.

“The landslide has been bulldozed out of the way. We can see a conservation future, and we can imagine several different alternatives to how we get there,” Johnson said.

Lawmakers from both sides of Long Island Sound backed the move. The 840-acre island is home to hundreds of species of birds and several endangered species.

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.