U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey came to Mamaroneck Village’s Harbor Island Park on Monday, November 2, to announce that she and her colleagues representing the Long Island Sound Shore communities had secured $7 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Long Island Sound Program.
The funds, more than twice what was allocated last year, will go to preserve and protect the ecosystem of the Long Island Sound. Mamaroneck Town Councilwoman Nancy Seligson is grateful for the increase, but says the Sound needs and deserves even more.
Double the Dollars
“A healthy Sound Shore bolsters our local economy and promotes recreation and tourism in our region,” said Ms. Lowey at Harbor Island. “I am thrilled we have secured $7 million – more than double last year’s funding level – to preserve and restore this region for future generations.”
“Today is a great day for the Long Island Sound,” said Albert E. Caccese, executive director of Audubon New York. “This increased funding will jumpstart desperately needed water quality improvements, habitat protection initiatives and enhanced public access opportunities ensuring future generations will enjoy a cleaner and healthier Long Island Sound.”
Also at the event was Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe and Councilwoman Seligson, who expressed their appreciation for Ms. Lowey’s efforts.
“Nita has been a great champion for Long Island Sound for over 20 years,” said Ms. Seligson.”
That said, Ms. Seligson, who is also the chair of the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee, was not completely satisfied with the amount that will be going to the Sound.
She noted, “We have two bills that authorize $65 million per year – and that’s what the Sound really needs.” She added, “Just to put it in perspective, Puget Sound is getting $20 million. We think Long Island Sound deserves more as well.”
Ms. Lowey and her Congressional colleagues did obtain an increase over the $3 million their Senate counterparts had requested. Helping boost the number were local advocates for the Sound, said Ms. Seligson. “The Long Island Sound Citizens Advisory Committee worked really hard to get the Senate to increase its ‘ask.’” The House had originally requested $15 million.
Asked what the additional funds might go towards, Ms. Seligson listed: upgrades to sewage treatment plants; programs to control non-point source pollution; and projects to address stormwater issues.