WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), a member of the U.S. House of Representative Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday led 9 colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump to request robust funding for the Long Island Sound Geographic Program in his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020. The members requested $20 million to fund critical improvements to water quality and restore habitat around the Sound watershed.
“As you work to complete your final Fiscal Year 2020 budget, we urge you to fund the Long Island Sound Geographic Program at $20 million,” the members wrote. “The Sound is a proven economic driver in the northeast, generating at least $17 billion to the regional economy from transportation, fishing, and recreational activities it supports.”
“If we consider the status quo acceptable the Long Island Sound and the coastline we know today will not be recognizable to the next generation,” the members added.
The Long Island Sound Geographic Program assists with conservation and pollution mitigation in the greater northeast. Last year, new projects improved wastewater cleanup and assisted with nitrogen removal.
Joining Murphy and DeLauro in this letter were their colleagues U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Representatives Jim Himes (CT-4), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), John Larson (CT-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Peter King (NY-2), and Thomas Suozzi (NY-3)
The full text of the letter can be found below and here.
Dear President Trump:
As you work to complete your final Fiscal Year 2020 budget, we urge you to fund the Long Island Sound Geographic Program at $20 million. This year, Congress reauthorized the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act, which allows Congress to allocate up to a $65 million a year in grants for Long Island Sound. Our request of $20 million is less than a third of the full allocation, yet will support numerous local efforts to improve water quality and restore shoreline habitats.
The Long Island Sound estuary spans more than 1,300 square miles of coastline in Connecticut and New York, yet the Long Island Sound watershed cover 16,000 square miles across six New England states. The Sound is a proven economic driver in the northeast, generating at least $17 billion to the regional economy from transportation, fishing, and recreational activities it supports.
Long Island Sound Geographic Program funding has allowed local communities across the watershed to make significant progress in improving the Sound. In the most recent award year, projects spanned four states and included funding for building environmentally friendly coastal resiliency structures, monitoring water quality, constructing fishways, reducing nitrogen pollution, and protecting marine life.
If we consider the status quo acceptable, the Long Island Sound and the coastline we know today will not be recognizable to the next generation. As a result, the vibrant business community and economic activity the Sounds supports will dwindle.
Thank you for your attention to this request and we encourage you to request $20 million for the program in your final Fiscal Year 2020 budget.