Lowey Announces Passage of $21M for Long Island Sound

December 17, 2019
Press Release

With an increase of $7 million from FY19, this is the largest federal investment committed to restoring the Sound Program Office.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced $21 million in funding for Long Island Sound was included in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives.

“I first ran for Congress on the promise that I would do all I could to restore Long Island Sound,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I am thrilled that year after year, we’ve made progress on that promise. Today, the House passed spending legislation that included $21 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Long Island Sound Geographic program, a $7 million increase. I’m proud of this investment to protect the Sound and assist the local economy.”

“Thank you to Chairwoman Lowey for leading the effort to increase investments for the restoration of Long Island Sound,” said Nancy Seligson, NY Co-chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the EPA’s Long Island Sound Study. “This funding supports and leverages state and local projects for resilient, sustainable and environmentally just communities and provides the scientific research and data needed to effectively manage for cleaner, healthier waters. With these investments, Long Island Sound, its rivers, harbors, and bays will continue to provide fishing, boating, swimming and up to $31 billion annually to the regional economy. Congresswoman Nita Lowey has been a shining leader in Congress and a stalwart champion for our region. Her leadership on funding for and restoration of Long Island Sound has shaped the improvements we enjoy today and will shape the improvements we look forward to in the future.”

“This is a landmark day for our nation’s greatest urban estuary,” said Curt Johnson, President CFE/Save the Sound. “The increase in funding will clean our waters, bring back abundant wildlife and make our communities and shores more resilient to climate change. Long Island Sound is one of the most productive ecosystems in America and a major economic engine for our region. It now serves as an example of what smart environmental management, with consistent local and federal support, can achieve. Many thanks to Congresswoman Lowey, Senator Schumer, and our entire New York and Connecticut delegations for leading the charge.”

Federal funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Geographic Program is vital to our regional economy, our environment, and the communities that rely on it. The Long Island Sound Geographic Program focuses on reducing nitrogen levels in the Sound’s water and restoring the surrounding habitats. Long Island Sound has sustained a diversity of birds, wildlife and marine organisms, while also serving as a recreational magnet for tens of thousands of Americans. More than 23 million people live within 50 miles of its shores. According to the Long Island Sound Study, the Sound alone directly contributes $9.4 billion to the regional economy each year and provides between $17 billion and $37 billion in economic value each year.

“We only get one planet,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “If we don’t invest resources now to protect areas like Long Island Sound, our children and grandchildren will be left to deal with the consequences.”

Federal investments in Long Island Sound help leverage additional funding from other federal, state, local and private partners. This federal funding package is expected to be signed into law later this week.