On October 25th, Melanie Tebbens, Trust Vice President, joined the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee and the Preserve Plum Island Coalition in Washington D.C. They met with members of Congress from New York and Connecticut to update them on how the LI Sound Restoration Funding has been spent to improve the water quality of Long Island Sound. Representatives from Hempstead Harbor, the Sound School, the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation Service and Cornell Cooperative Extension gave examples of their work and the positive impact it has had on so many communities. Examples ranged from the return of commercial clamming in Hempstead Harbor to legacy lobster traps removed with the aid of fisherman, along with septic tank replacements in Nassau County, and the education of high school youth and their continued involvement in the marine sciences.
Congressman LaLota and others appreciated being educated on the particulars of this funding
so they can advocate for three main asks:
- Maintain the $45 million in federal funding for Long Island Sound;
- Reenact the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act so that a bill can be introduced for $25 million for stewardship of Long Island Sound; and
- Permanent preservation of Plum Island as a national monument.
The Peconic Land Trust is a member of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition which is made up of over 60 organizations from New York and Connecticut. Plum Island is a federally owned, 840 acre ecological, cultural, and historic treasure in Long Island Sound, off Long Island’s Orient Point, in the Town of Southold, NY. The coalition advocates for the permanent protection of the Island’s irreplaceable resources. Over 80 percent of the Island is undeveloped – its habitats and ecological interactions with the other nearby islands and surrounding rich estuarine waters give Plum Island high ecological value.
To learn more about the Trust’s involvement in the Long Island Sound region, contact Melanie Tebbens, Vice President.