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Grants slated for Long Island Sound cleanup

Federal and state environmental officials announced 22 grants totaling more than $1.3 million to local government and community groups in Connecticut and New York to improve the health of Long Island Sound.

The projects, funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, will open 12.4 miles of river for the passage of native fish and restore 80 acres of coastal habitat, including intertidal marsh, coastal forest, grasslands and freshwater wetlands.

“Protecting and restoring Long Island Sound has long been a priority for the [Environmental Protection Agency]," EPA Region 2 director, Clean Water Division, Joan Leary Matthews said in a statement. "These grants will support vital and diverse projects throughout the region. These efforts will help improve water quality and remove pollution from the Long Island Sound watershed and involve the public in the protection of one of the nation's most important natural treasures."

The Long Island Sound Study initiated the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in 2005 through the EPA’s Long Island Sound office and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. To date, the program has invested $13 million in 306 projects in communities surrounding the sound.

With a grantee match of $25 million, the Long Island Sound Futures Fund has generated a total of almost $38 million for locally based conservation in both states.

To learn more about the study, visit www.longislandsoundstudy.net.

For full descriptions of the Long Island Sound Futures Fund Grants, visit http://longislandsoundstudy.net/about/grants/lis-futures-fund/.

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