U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday announced the bipartisan Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act has unanimously passed out of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and is now headed to the full Senate for a vote.
Senator Gillibrand’s legislation will combine two complementary water quality and shore restoration program authorizations at their previous authorization levels of $40 million and $25 million per year, respectively, through Fiscal Year 2023.
The legislation would also support various projects, such as wetland protection and restoration programs, an official press release stated.
“The Long Island Sound is one of our most important natural treasures, and is a vital economic anchor that supports thousands of local jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“Maintaining these authorization levels would help protect the long-term health of the Sound and help promote economic development in the area. Now that this legislation is heading to the full Senate for a vote, I am urging my colleagues to pass this legislation to build on the ongoing efforts to restore the Sound for generations to come.”
The Sound borders New York and Connecticut, with 9 million people living on the coast and 24 million people living within 50 miles of the coast.
Although decades of high levels of development, 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.