U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said Tuesday that the 3rd Congressional District will receive nearly $3 million in matching federal grants to fund projects related to preserving and protecting Long Island Sound.
At a virtual press conference, Suozzi, who is co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, said the Sound is special to him and the grants ensure the watershed area will be taken care of for years to come.
“I grew up swimming and fishing in the Sound,” Suozzi said. “These federal grants will go a long way in ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy a clean Long Island Sound.”
The Long Island Sound watershed area is over 16,000 square miles and reaches into New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.
In August, the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed by Congress included $106 million to protect, improve and preserve Long Island Sound by increasing resources in existing federal programs.
Funding will come from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, which received $4.8 million in matching funds for the Sound. New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Udalls Cove and Little Neck Bay in Queens, Roslyn, Hempstead Harbor, Oyster Bay, and Centerport and Northport Harbors, will receive $1,540,437.
Across the district, projects will have a total of $2,944,218 in grants.
Also present at the virtual news conference were officials and executives from advocacy organizations dedicated to the preservation of the Sound and environment.
“Over the last 10 years, we have made significant progress to increase funding for the preservation and protection of the Long Island Sound, restoration of habitats, monitoring of water quality, and education of the public,” said Suozzi. “We need to maintain and increase this momentum so that generations of New Yorkers can all benefit from our most precious natural resource.”
The congressman said in 2017 federal funding for the Sound was only $5 million, compared with today’s $30.4 million.
Grants will go towards 10 projects, ranging from just upward of $1 million to $113,017. Each recipient will help the preservation of the Sound through education, water quality monitoring and pollution cleanup, among other things.
Suozzi emphasized that the area is important to not just the district but the entire area.
“The Long Island Sound is our national park, and we have to treat it that way,” he said.