WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, secured critical investments for the Long Island Sound in appropriations bills that passed committee this week and last week.
“Long Island Sound is central to Connecticut’s economy and our environment,” said Murphy. “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I’ve made it my mission to reach across the aisle to secure critical funding for the long-term clean up and preservation of the Sound. The funding in this bill is a big win for Connecticut.”
Specifically, Murphy fought for and supported the following investments:
- $16 million for the Long Island Sound Geographic Program, a $2 million increase from last year;
- $75 million National Sea Grant College Program, an increase of $7 million from last year;
- $15.5 million for Aquaculture programs within NOAA, which partially fund the Milford Lab, and a provision addressing hiring at Milford Lab;
- Language supporting the expansion of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Connecticut has a pending application with NOAA to join this system; and
- $1.2 million to hire a new shellfish researcher within the Agricultural Research Service.
Murphy is committed to protecting Long Island Sound and Connecticut’s coastline. The Long Island Sound contributes between $17 billion and $37 billion annually to the local economy, including from sport and commercial fishing, boating, recreation, and tourism. In 2016, Murphy released his $860 million Long Island Sound Investment Plan to support federal programs that invest in Long Island Sound’s coastal habitats, coastal resilience, clean water and beaches, and fishing industry.