Hammonasset BeachOn March 23, President Trump signed a budget that includes historic funding for Long Island Sound programs. The Fiscal Year 2018 package includes $12 million for the Sound under the National Estuary Program, a 50 percent increase over last year’s $8 million. Fishing, shipping, tourism, and other Long Island Sound industries generate over $9 billion in economic benefits for the region every year.

Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT   © Sue Pranulis

“Long Island Sound’s bi-partisan team of congressional champions has turbocharged the restoration of this magnificent body of water,” said Curt Johnson, President of Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound. “These funds will help get bacteria and damaging excess nutrients out of the Sound, save beautiful shoreline places for people and wildlife, and protect neighborhoods from coastal flooding. It’s an investment in this great body of water and in our collective future.”

The $1.3 trillion Fiscal Year 2018 spending package also includes:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $15 million for the Fisheries Aquaculture program, which is $5.7 million above Fiscal Year 17
  • $65 million for the National Sea Grant College Program; $2 million above FY 2017
  • $11.5 million for the Marine Aquaculture Program; $2 million above FY 2017
  • $11 million for Ocean Acidification research; approximately $1 million above FY 2017
  • $35 million for the Integrated Ocean Observing System Regional Observations, a $5 million increase from FY 2017. This funding supports the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing System, which provides weather and ocean data to fishers and commercial shippers
  • $75 million for the Coastal Zone Management Grants and $42.5 million for Coastal Zone Management and Services

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $9.5 million for the BEACH Act, which helps monitor water quality at public beaches
  • $26,723,000 for the National Estuary Program, which helps support the Long Island Sound Study

Department of Transportation

  • $300 million for the Maritime Security Program, an increase of $90 million from FY 2017
  • $20 million for the Small Shipyard Grant Program, an increase of $10 million from FY 2017