A competitive research grant program has selected eight projects that will study water quality and other aspects of the Long Island Strait.
The program, Long Island Sound Study, is funded by federal and state funds through a joint effort of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Connecticut Sea Grant, and the New York Sea Grant. The total cost of the eight projects is $ 2.8 million. Researchers at the University of Connecticut, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and others “will attempt to answer questions critical to advancing the restoration of the estuary and its watershed, ”read a press release from the Long Island Sound Study.
“The Long Island Sound Study is a cooperative effort sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the states of Connecticut and New York to restore and protect the Sound and its ecosystems,” the statement said. “The restoration works are guided by a comprehensive conservation and management plan under four themes: clean waters and healthy watersheds; Thriving habitats and abundant wildlife; Sustainable and resilient communities; and sound science and management.
Projects will examine the impact of historical land use practices on nitrogen management, swamp replenishment, alewife migration, how marine life can help measure and remove pollutants, recovery eelgrass and water conditions, among other topics.
“This research competition has resulted in an interesting diversity of projects,” said Sylvain De Guise, director of Connecticut Sea Grant, in the statement. “These include new approaches to understanding and managing the Long Island Strait and achieving water quality improvement goals that support productive ecosystems for the benefit of wildlife and humans. In my opinion, this is a very smart investment for long term benefits.
EPA Region 2 Acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugan commented on these possible long-term benefits.
“More than 10 percent of Americans live within 50 miles of the shores of the Long Island Sound, where problems such as nitrogen pollution threaten water quality, marine life and coastal resilience,” said he said in the press release. “These projects reflect the EPA’s long-standing commitment to developing solutions to protect and restore the Strait to healthy waters, for the benefit of surrounding communities environmentally, economically and recreationally.