via CT Post

NE - 'To Protect and Restore the Sound:' Research Projects Seek to Improve Water Quality in Long Island Sound

A multimillion-dollar research program will study water quality, seaweed formation, sedimentation, acid levels, pollution and other scientific topics associated with Long Island Sound, in an effort to make it a healthier ecosystem.

The Long Island Sound Study Research Grant Program is a partnership among Connecticut, New York and the federal government. Last week, the organization announced eight research projects that will be funded by $2.8 million in federal contributions from the Environmental Protection Agency. With matching grants from other environmental organizations, the value of the research package was assessed at more than $4.2 million.

The work will begin this spring and run for two years. Scientists, many of whom are affiliated with the University of Connecticut, will take a wide-ranging approach to the chemistry of Long Island Sound, its unique geography and its wildlife.

“This funding will advance ecological research and play a critical role in improving water quality and reducing pollution, providing lasting results for the wildlife and wetlands in the Sound for years to come,” said Deb Szaro, acting EPA regional administrator for New England.

The Sound Study Research program has been run by New York and Connecticut since 2008, and it has undertaken some 30 projects to better understand, and improve, the health of the waters of the Sound.

“More than 10 percent of Americans live within 50 miles of the Long Island Sound’s shores, where issues like nitrogen pollution threaten water quality, marine life and coastal resiliency. These projects reflect EPA’s longstanding commitment to developing solutions to protect and restore the Sound to healthy waters, benefiting surrounding communities environmentally, economically and recreationally,” said Walter Mugan, EPA Region 2 acting regional administrator.

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