U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin announced this week that President Obama had signed legislation reauthorizing the National Estuary Program last week. The measure provides $26.5 million in funding for the National Estuary Program, which includes two estuaries on Long Island: the Long Island Sound and the Peconic Estuary.
The funding will be used for water quality and wetlands restoration, as well as other local conservation projects to restore local beaches and protect wildlife. The bill ensures that funding will be prioritized to address urgent and challenging issues that threaten the ecological and economic well-being of coastal areas including nitrogen, harmful algae blooms, and flooding or wetland loss.
“On the East End of Long Island, we must be committed to safeguarding our environment and improving our water quality. Over the years, water quality on Long Island has suffered severely from issues such as pollution, overdevelopment and the dumping of dredged materials,” said Mr. Zeldin in a release. “This new law, which I was proud to support in the House, would ensure that Long Island’s estuaries receive the funding needed to improve and protect our waterways.”
“The Peconic Estuary Program is grateful to Congressman Zeldin for his support of this important bill,” said Dr. Alison Branco, the program’s director. “For nearly 30 years, the National Estuary Program has demonstrated that these locally driven, non-regulatory programs can successfully protect estuaries of national significance, like the Peconic Estuary and Long Island Sound. We work with the community to craft and implement action plans to solve environmental problems at the watershed level to preserve the healthy, productive ecosystem that supports our coastal economy.”