Stretching more than 110 miles into the Atlantic, with 600 miles of coastline, the Long Island Sound is home to hundreds of species of fish, birds, and other animals. Millions of people visit the Sound each year to swim, boat, and enjoy its beauty, enriching their own lives and stimulating the local economy.
Maintaining the Sound as a healthy ecosystem, while balancing human uses, presents a challenge. Over centuries, stormwater runoff, debris and other sources of man-made pollution have degraded the Sound and compromised its vitality.
NFWF's Long Island Sound Futures Fund supports projects in local communities that aim to protect and restore the Long Island Sound. It unites federal and state agencies, foundations and corporations to achieve high-priority conservation objectives. Funded activities demonstrate a real, on-the-ground commitment to securing a healthy future for the Long Island Sound.
Funding priorities for this program include:
- Clean waters and healthy watersheds: improving water quality by delivering projects that reduce combined sewer overflows, stormwater runoff and nonpoint source nutrient loading into the Long Island Sound.
- Thriving Habitats and Abundant Wildlife: restoring coastal habitats to maintain resiliency and function, and foster diverse, balanced and abundant populations of fish, birds and wildlife.
- Educating to Engage Sustainable and Resilient Communities: increasing knowledge and engagement of the public in the protection and restoration of Long Island Sound.
Since 2005, NFWF's Long Island Sound Futures Fund has invested $14.3 million in 324 projects in communities surrounding the Sound. With grantee match of $28 million, the program has generated $42 million for locally-based conservation. The projects have opened up 157 river miles for fish passage, restored 1,024 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat and open space, and treated 100 million gallons of pollution from communities surrounding the sound.
NFWF manages the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in partnership with the Long Island Sound Study through U.S. EPA’s Long Island Sound Office. Major funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Long Island Sound Study, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.