U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, together with Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, are introducing the Plum Island Conservation Act to stop the sale of the island to potential developers.
Plum Island is located off Orient Point in Long Island Sound and is owned by New York. It’s the home of Plum Island Animal Disease Center, a federal facility that is scheduled to close in 2023.
The bill would repeal a law that requires the federal government to sell the land to the highest bidder.
Blumenthal says it would allow the government to either preserve the land or transfer it to another agency.
“The time is now to do it because the present path towards sale is just outrageous and frightening in what it would mean eventually, because once this land is lost to development it can never be recovered.”
Plum Island has one of the highest concentrations of insects, wildlife and rare plants in New York.
The federal government has tried to sell the island since 2008.