Government And The Long Island Sound

This essay has a total of 2744 words and 16 pages.

Government And The Long Island Sound




The Long Island Sound



The Long Island Sound is a vital resource used by both humans and wildlife. The quality of
its water is an issue that affects everyone and everything. Scientific studies and
continuous monitoring provide evidence as to what actions need to be taken to improve and
restore the water quality. In more ways than one, the United States government has devoted
much of its time to ensure the revival and protection of the Long Island Sound.


There are many ways to help in the protection of the Long Island Sound. Various government
agencies and organizations initiate projects beneficial to the Sound. The government
donates grants and monies for funding for the Long Island Sound. There are also bills and
legislation passed by the government, which provides laws protecting the sound.


The Long Island Sound Study (LISS) is a partnership devoted in the restoration and
protection of the Sound. This partnership involves federal, state, interstate, and local
agencies, universities, environmental groups, industry, and the public in a program to
protect and restore the health of Long Island Sound. The Long Island Sound Study has seven
issues deserving special attention. These issues are low oxygen conditions, otherwise
called hypoxia, toxic contamination, pathogen contamination, floatable debris, the impact
of these water quality problems and habitat degradation and loss on the health of living
resources, public involvement and education, and land use.


The LISS is undergoing studies that in hopes will reduce the extent of hypoxia. In order
to restore the health of Long Island Sound additional nitrogen reduction is needed. Two
major research efforts have provided much of the information on how low oxygen conditions
affect living resources in the Sound. The EPA's (Environmental Protections Agencies)
Office of Research and Development conducted a study which was the first major research
effort.


The study used a variety of species of fish, crab, shrimp, lobster, and other crustaceans
known to live on the bottom waters of the Long Island Sound were exposed to low levels of
oxygen in the laboratory. The effect of different concentration of oxygen on growth and
survival was measured.


The second study which provided information on the effects of low oxygen conditions in the
Sound was conducted by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP). The
CTDEP collected bottom- dwelling fish and invertebrates and compared the quantity of
organisms and number of species with the levels of oxygen in the water. Both of these
studies confirmed that severe effects occurred whenever levels of oxygen fell below 2.0
mg/l. Large reductions in the numbers and types of aquatic life present were noted. The
lab experiments recorded reductions in both growth and increase in death.


The Long Island Sound Study is receiving funding for the wastewater treatment facility
improvements for the Sound. The main source of funding comes from the State Revolving Fund
Programs. The Environmental Protections Agency, through the federal Clean Water Act,
provides financing to support State Revolving Fund Loan Programs. Connecticut uses the
capitalization grant from the EPA to leverage with state bond funds to provide grants and
low interest loans.


New York, Connecticut, and EPA along with the federal Clean Water Act are ensuring
enforcement to see a healthier Sound. The provisions of the federal Clean Water Act
provide a vehicle for ensuring that nitrogen reduction targets are legally enforceable. A
section of the Act (303(d)) requires the identification of a Total Maximum Daily Load for
pollutants that will result in the accomplishment of water quality standards. Once a Total
Maximum Daily Load has been established, the act calls for reductions to be allocated to
sources so that the load target is met.


New York, Connecticut, and EPA will use their authorities to provide an enforceable basis
for achieving the nitrogen reduction targets. The EPA has developed a regional marine
oxygen criterion that provides a more scientifically valid basis for the development of
oxygen standards. The LISS will continue to assess what other kinds of actions will be
needed to bring the Sound into full observance with water quality standards. The Long
Island Sound Study is not the only organization that is concerned with the health of the
Sound.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Regional Offices in
New York and Boston and its Long Island Sound Office has provided support in the
restoration of the Long Island Sound. The EPA has provided funding to the Connecticut
Department of Environmental Protection and New York Department of Environmental
Conservation in assistance of the Long Island Sound Study's Habitat Restoration
Initiative.


The EPA has agreed to support completion of the Habitat Restoration Strategy in the
following six ways. The EPA LIS Office will continue to coordinate the effort, including
tracking and reporting on programs toward commitments. The EPA LIS Office has also agreed
to support continued public involvement and educational activities on habitat restoration,
including the development of fact sheets, pamphlets, and information on its World Wide Web
homepage. The EPA will encourage the application of eligible habitat restoration projects
for funding under various programs. An example of this is the CWA Section 319 nonpoint
source control program. The EPA will advocate habitat restoration in watershed protection
activities around the Sound. The EPA has agreed to provide technical support and promote
technology transfer of the program on a nation wide scale. Last but not least, the EPA
will encourage the application of eligible habitat restoration projects for funding
through Supplemental Environmental Projects.


The United States Fish and Wildlife Services (Service) will also provide support for the
restoration of coastal habitats associated with the Long Island Sound. The Service will
also attempt to match projects or sets of projects with appropriate Service and other
related competitive grants programs and work with partners to apply for these grants.
These programs and partners include North American Wetland Conservation Act grants,
National Coastal Wetland grants, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grants.


The United States Fish and Wildlife Services (Service) has its own priority habitats and
areas. These include nesting and foraging habitats for colonial waterbirds. These
waterbirds especially: the long- legged waders and roseate tern. The Service puts an aim
on habitats that are on and adjacent to National Wildlife Refugees, habitats that support
federally endangered and threatened species, tidal wetland habitats in the Lower
Connecticut River, beach strand habitats, and finally sandplain grasslands.


Save the Sound, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection,
and appreciation of Long Island Sound and its watershed through education, research, and
advocacy. Save the Sound was founded in 1972 and has offices in Stamford, Connecticut and
Glen Cove, New York. Save the Sound, Inc. commits to the Long Island Sound in many ways.


The Save the Sound, Inc. will serve as an advocate for the Long Island Sound as a member
of Restore America's Estuaries, press for appropriate legislation such as the Chafee
Estuary Restoration Bill. Save the Sound will also meet with elected officials in DC,
Hartford, Albany, and local governments. Save the Sound is committed to tracking and
monitoring legislation. They also agree to encourage adequate funds for restoration and
pursue new funding sources. Last but not least for advocacy, the Save the Sound, Inc. will
also streamline the permit process for restoration projects.


Save the Sound, Inc. is committed to education and outreach. They will strive to educate
any age audience from elementary, middle, and high school faculty and students, municipal/
elected officials, adult general public, to landowners. Save the Sound, Inc. is
responsible for organizing public speaking engagements, conducting technical assistance
workshops for municipalities and community groups, classroom visits and field trips, and
for media outreach such as radio, television, and print.


Save the Sound, Inc. is dedicated to habitat restoration. At the grassroots level, Save
the Sound, Inc. has coordinated and assisted habitat restoration projects in Connecticut
and New York. It has also assisted Long Island Sound Organizations by building
partnerships, locating funds, and providing or locating technical assistance for
restoration projects. Save the Sound, Inc. has also published and distributed the Long
Island Sound Conservation Blueprint- Building the Case for Habitat Restoration In and
Around the Sound (a citizen's guide for habitat restoration).


Save the Sound, Inc. has also devoted itself to research in efforts to save the Long
Island Sound from destruction. It has continued to assist non- governmental agencies of
both states in developing water quality monitoring programs that operate under US EPS
Quality Assurance Project Plans. Save the Sound, Inc. has continued to participate in the
network of Long Island Sound agencies and organizations that monitor water quality and has
continued to provide water quality data to federal and state agencies.


The USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a state- based federal
conservation agency that works primarily on private and non- federal public lands to
conserve and sustain natural resources. NRCS staff works with individuals, organizations
and governmental agencies to deliver a wide range of technical services that reduce
impacts to natural systems from agricultural, urban, and suburban landscapes. NRCS
recognizes Long Island Sound as a priority for protection. While NRCS traditionally works
on land in watersheds that outlet into the coastal area, it can assist with restoration
projects in coves and embayments. The agency will continue working with landowners to
enhance the quality of the natural resources within the Long Island Sound Ecosystem.


The New York Sea Grant Extension program works to provide the latest scientific
information on habitat restoration from the National Sea Grant College Program. They
promise to provide this information to groups and organizations conducting restoration
projects and to provide technical assistance to groups performing habitat restoration
projects. This is especially in the areas of coastal processes and dune habitats,
fisheries restoration, and use of native plants. Sea Grant will sponsor habitat
restoration workshops, and promote restoration through its newsletters.
Continues for 8 more pages >>




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