Hartford, CT - This week, the Connecticut Congressional Delegation applauded $782,931 in federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support Long Island Sound (the Sound) research projects conducted by marine scientists at the University of Connecticut (UConn).
The funding will be used for projects that will address topics affecting the ecological health of the Sound, including the lack of oxygen in the water column. UConn will be providing $203,730 in matching funds for these projects.
“This federal funding is crucial for improving the long-term health and resiliency of the Long Island Sound—one of Connecticut’s most important natural resources. With climate change becoming an increasing threat, this investment in Long Island Sound research is needed now more than ever. We will continue to fight to ensure the Sound remains an environmental gem and economic driver for generations to come,” said the delegation.
The research will be supported via a partnership between the Connecticut and New York Sea Grant programs and the EPA through the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) program. Connecticut Sea Grant, located at the UConn Avery Point campus, is a state and federal partnership funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and UConn. New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, will also receive funding as part of the LISS program. For this round of funding, projects in Connecticut and New York will receive over $1.5 million total.
The below Connecticut Sea Grant programs will receive funding:
The LIS Respire Program
The funding will be used to gain a better understanding of how oxygen is being used in the water column of the Long Island Sound and will inform decisions that seek to avoid hypoxia and manage the estuary sustainably amidst coastal population growth and shifting climate.
Water Column O2 Respiration – Rates, Distribution, Drivers and Elemental Stoichiometry
The funding will be used to deploy automated respiration chambers at locations in western Long Island Sound, which is the area most vulnerable to low oxygen conditions. The devices will measure respiration and net ecosystem production at locations chosen for their differences in organic matter content, a major driver of these processes.