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
By 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.