LI Sound Cleanup Making Progress

Submitted by ub on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 18:24

Long Island Sound cleanup has been a costly proposition, but progress continues to be made. That was the indications at this week's Long Island Sound Report Card Forum. Officials reported that toxic contaminants and nitrogen pollution are way down, resulting in wildlife proliferation, but this does not come at a low price.

The number of efforts, which have been put forth to prevent environmental decline in Long Island Sound seem to have paid off, according to officials from US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Long Island Sound Office. They gave the Sound high marks for the decline in contaminants and proliferation of wildlife over the last twenty years.

PCBs—synthetic pollutants known to cause cancer in animals and believed carcinogens to human beings, as well as other heavy metals have actually decreased by 90% during that time period as well. EPA reports a decrease in the number of different contaminants in shellfish, like blue mussels.

The projected cost is $112.1 million with a completion date of June 30, 2014. As of 2011, roughly 1,040 acres of coastal habitat or 160 “river miles” of fish passage have been opened up in the LI Sound, according to the regional director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), along with 1,761 acres of coastal habitat now under state protection.