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Schumer Announces Passage Of Long Island Sound Stewardship Act A Bill To Protect Crucial Long Island Sound Ecosystem

The Legislation Provides $150 Million Over Six Years to Acquire Shoreline Parcels in Long Island for Ecological Protection

A Longtime Advocate of the Sound, Senator Schumer was a Co-Sponsor of the Bill

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the Senate passage this afternoon of the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2006 which will provide $150 million over 6 years for the preservation of open space along the Long Island Sound. The Act establishes a panel of federal, state and local officials and community activists from New York and Connecticut to acquire shoreline parcels in Long Island in an effort to protect segments of the Long Island Sound with ecological, educational and recreational importance. Senator Schumer, a longtime advocate of preserving the Sound, is a cosponsor of the bill which passed the House of Representatives last night.

Since the time Long Island was first settled, the health of the Island has been linked to the health of the Sound," said Schumer. "From the seafood industry to recreation from Orient Point to Great Neck, Generations of Long Islanders have enjoyed the resources and beauty of this spectacular waterway. This important piece of legislation will preserve its ecosystem, ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy all that the Sound has to offer."

The Long Island Sound Stewardship Act provides $25 million a year for 6 years beginning in 2007 to preserve open space along the Sound and protect up to 20 stewardship sites. As the first federal investment for open space along the Sound, the Act will establishes a Long Island committee led by the local director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and consisting of people from New York and Connecticut who will determine which shoreline parcels in New York and Connecticut should be purchased by the EPA for preservation.

The Long Island Sound is one of the nation's most important and overburdened waterways. More than 8 million people live in the 16,000 square mile watershed, encompassing NY, CT, MA, VT, NH, and Quebec, Canada. The Sound generates more than $5.5 billion to the regions economy in waterquality related goods and services alone. However, at present more than 1 billion gallons of inadequately treated waste makes its way into the Long Island Sound each day, endangering the more than 1,200 invertebrate species and 150 fish species that live in or depend upon the Sound for their food, water, and habitat. In 2002 the EPA released the results of its LIS study, which concluded that coordinated action to save the Sound was necessary. Building on recommendations from the EPAs LIS Study and on feedback from his public meetings, Senator Schumer helped to introduce the initial Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2004 (LISSA) in April.