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Connecticut Passes Law To Manage Long Island Sound's Uses

Tracy Brown
Save the Sound via AP

An ambitious inventory of Long Island Sound’s uses and resources, known as the Blue Plan, is now state law in Connecticut.

Bill Lucey has a unique title — he’s the Long Island Soundkeeper. He’s a watchdog and advocate for the body of water that’s an economic and environmental backbone for Connecticut and Long Island.

“So the Sound is a big shipping area. When I’m out on my boat I see lots of traffic taking goods to and fro. Sailboat racing, commercial fishing, recreational fishing, shellfish aquaculture. The new one people are getting into is seaweed aquaculture. All of those occupy different spaces within the Sound,” Lucey said.

The Blue Plan is a 3-D map that shows how humans, animals and plants use the Sound in all those different ways. It’s meant to keep everyone from running into each other.

“So if you’re a planner or a developer or a conservationist, or if you wanted to plan a route, say, a cable route for the wind farms that are coming in, you can use this information to create the route that’s going to cause the least amount of conflicts and the least amount of environmental damage,” Lucey said.

State environmental officials have been working on the plan for years — you can find it on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s website. Now that it’s state law, planners and developers will need to check the plan before they start work.

“Yeah, we’re there. People should start using it, and it should streamline permitting processes and lead to less legal challenges,” Lucey said.

And Lucey said it will make his job easier, too.

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.