U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles E. Schumer, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have announced their bipartisan legislation to continue to support the restoration of Long Island Sound passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, bringing it one step closer to full Senate passage.
The legislation now heads to the Senate floor and the Senators are vowing to continue pushing until the bill is passed by the full Senate and signed by President Obama.
The Long Island Sound borders New York and Connecticut, with 9 million people living on the coast and 24 million people living within 50 miles of it.
Although decades of overdevelopment, pollution, dumping of dredged materials and releases of untreated sewage have severely hurt the Sound’s water quality, the Sound’s economic contribution, including from sport and commercial fishing, boating, recreation and tourism, is estimated to be between $17 billion and $37 billion annually.
The Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act combines two complementary water quality and shore restoration program authorizations at their previous authorization levels of $40 million and $25 million per year, respectively.
This legislation also provides for additional focus, oversight and coordination of federal activities related to the restoration of Long Island Sound.