Long Island Sound Study Updates

By Tony Sorrell, FCWC Board Member
The Long Island Sound Study-Citizen’s Advisory Committee (LISS-CAC) Quarterly Meeting was held on March 10, 2016 in New York City. Seventeen representatives from member organizations in Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut attended as well as representatives from the EPA and the NY DEC. The conversation at this meeting focused on nitrogen in Long Island Sound. Generally, nitrogen levels in the Sound are on a downward trend, which is the good news.
Mark Tedesco of the EPA LISS office  presented on a Nitrogen Reduction Strategy overview and then James Tierney of the NY DEC  presented the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan.  Participants were informed about nitrogen reduction outreach programs that took place  in Galveston Bay, Tampa Bay and Puget Sound. It is suggested that best practices used in these areas could be implemented for an outreach and marketing program in the LIS region.

Hypoxia 20 year average

Hypoxia over past 20 years
In Westchester, our sewage treatment plant upgrades are helping to reduce nitrogen levels, however more work needs to be done to address non-point sources of pollution such as storm water, septics, and turf fertilizer.  Remediation alternatives like aeration and bio extraction still need to be explored to understand how they can help improve water quality in LIS.
Upcoming meetings and events
  • 2016 Long Island Sound Research Conference on Friday, May 13, 2016 in Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • 25th Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit on Friday, June 3rd at Stony Brook University’s Student Activities Center
  • LISS-CAC Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) in NY, June 17, at Stony Brook.
  • LISS-CAC quarterly meeting June 23 with be held in CT

New! A Look into the Past – “Listen to the Sound 2000 Aims to Preserve Open Space”

This is the eighth installment of our “A Look into Our Past” Series, honoring the past five decades of work done by Federated Conservationists of Westchester County. This series revisits some of our best accomplishments by featuring past articles from our original publication “Westchester Environment.”

“Westchester Environment” – Vol. 2000 No. 2, March-April 2000

Listen to the Sound 2000 Aims to Preserve Open Space

Listen to the Sound 2000By Jane-Kerin Moffat, Coordinator of the Listen to the Sound 2000 Campaign

In 1990, area residents described their vision for the Long Island Sound as “…waters are clean, clear, safe to swim in and charged with life…a vision of waters nourished and protected by extensive coastal wetlands, of publicly accessible, litter-free beaches and preserves, and of underdeveloped islands of abundant and diverse wildlife, of flourishing commercial fisheries, of harbors accessible to the boating public, and of a regional consciousness and way of life that protects and sustains the ecosystem.”

Those who are about the estuary are urged to testify at Year 2000 citizens’ hearings to create a Long Island Sound reserve ecosystem – a comprehensive set of permanently protected open space and underwater lands around the Sound. Public testimony will help establish a compelling record of citizen concern for decision-makers at every level of government. It will help establish a consensus on what lands to protect and how, and it will focus public awareness on the need for stewardship of our shorelines.

This process was a success ten years ago. At that time Federated Conservationists was a major cosponsor when National Audubon Society created the first Listen to the Sound Campaign. Subsequently, FCWC was founding member of the Long Island Sound Watershed Alliance, which grew out of that campaign. The 1990 Citizens’ Agenda, which drew on testimony from over 500 area residents, and the ensuing coalition laid the foundation of the federal-state Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the South, which was adopted in 1994.

FCWC has long championed preservation of such waterfront sites as Edith G. Read Sanctuary, Marshlands Conservancy, Jay Heritage Center, and advocated the acquisition of Huckleberry and, of course, Davids Island among other sites. Restoring wetlands and proving pubic access to the Sound are also important parts of FCWC’s mission.