Grants will sup­port seashore, gar­dens

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - NEWS - BY PRESS STAFF

The $265,000 from the EPA will be used by lo­cal towns and or­ga­ni­za­tions to sup­port con­ser­va­tion projects that ben­e­fit Long Is­land Sound.

Two projects that will af­fect four down county towns have earned more than $265,000 in fed­eral funds from the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency Long Is­land Sound Fu­tures Fund to help im­prove the health and ecosys­tem of Long Is­land Sound.

The grants are among $1.74 mil­lion in fund­ing in­tended to spur ef­forts to re­duce pol­lu­tion, in­crease fish di­ver­sity and pop­u­la­tion and en­hance greater un­der­stand­ing of Long Is­land Sound’s ecol­ogy, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Con­necti­cut Con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion.

The funds will be used by lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties across Con­necti­cut to sup­port crit­i­cal con­ser­va­tion projects that ben­e­fit the Long Is­land Sound. The EPA fund­ing will be matched by each grantee.

⏩ Hep­burn Liv­ing Shore­line Project, Lynde Point Land Trust won a $250,000 LISFF grant, which re­quires $477,438 in match­ing funds. The project in­volves a 456-lin­ear-foot seg­ment of coast on Long Is­land Sound east of the Kather­ine Hep­burn Es­tate and west of the mouth of the Con­necti­cut River in the bor­ough of Fen­wick, Old Say­brook.

Lynde Point Land Trust will con­struct a liv­ing shore­line along an erod­ing bar­rier spit on Long Is­land Sound in Fen­wick. The project will pro­vide pro­tec­tion for the nearby com­mu­nity and a 10-acre tidal marsh pro­tect­ing from storms and ris­ing wa­ters, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

⏩ Rain and pol­li­na­tor gar­dens for schools in the Con­necti­cut River Es­tu­ary earned a $15,443 LISFF Grant, which re­quires $12,014 in match­ing funds. Con­necti­cut Audubon So­ci­ety will guide stu­dent-led plan­ning and in­stal­la­tion of rain and pol­li­na­tor gar­dens at schools in the Con­necti­cut River Es­tu­ary in Es­sex, Deep River and Ch­ester.

This project will en­hance ex­ist­ing school­yard habi­tats, adding fea­tures that re­duce 4,675 gal­lons of storm-water pol­lu­tion an­nu­ally while pro­vid­ing stu­dents and teach­ers with an ex­am­ple of sus­tain­able con­ser­va­tion ac­tion for Long Is­land Sound, ac­cord­ing to the del­e­ga­tion.

“These fed­eral dol­lars will help lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties make im­por­tant im­prove­ments to ben­e­fit the sound’s re­siliency and unique ecosys­tem. With cli­mate change be­com­ing an in­creas­ing threat to Con­necti­cut’s shore­line —this fund­ing, along with con­tin­ued com­mu­nity ef­forts and ad­vo­cacy, is needed now more than ever,” the del­e­ga­tion state­ment reads.

“We re­main com­mit­ted to fight­ing for the Long Is­land Sound on a fed­eral level to en­sure the sound re­mains an en­vi­ron­men­tal trea­sure, recre­ational desti­na­tion, and eco­nomic pow­er­house for years to come. To­day’s fund­ing would not be pos­si­ble without the ad­vo­cates who work tire­lessly to pro­tect and pre­serve the Long Is­land Sound every sin­gle day,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. The LISFF pro­gram com­bines funds from the EPA and the Na­tional Fish and Wildlife Foun­da­tion. This year, New York, Con­necti­cut, Massachusetts and Ver­mont will re­ceive 36 grants to­tal­ing $2.57 mil­lion. To date, the LISFF has in­vested $19.6 mil­lion in 416 projects.

Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia file pho­tos

The break­wa­ter light­house near Fen­wick in Old Say­brook

A spice­bush swal­low­tail gets pollen from a yel­low bells esper­anza plant in a pol­li­na­tor gar­den.

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