posted by a Maritime Aquarium student blogger
Over the next two years, Connecticut is prepared to spend almost $1 Billion on cleaning up Long Island Sound from city sewer overflows. According to the director of legislative and legal affairs for the environmental nonprofit Save our Sound, Leah Schmalz, the proposed plan will “make up a lot of ground from when we lost funding from 2002 to 2007”. Where will all of the money go? The funding will be used to improve city sewage systems with enhanced technology and increased wastewater treatment capacity ensuring the separation of sewage and stormwater systems.
The updated sewage system is very important, as it will keep untreated sewage running into treatment plants and not into bodies of water during storms. New sewage treatment plants will remove nitrogen from the water, allowing sea life populations to begin to rise. Not only is this program good for the environment, but it is also good for the economy, The budget spending will create jobs, like construction work, and also preserve jobs that are based around Long Island Sound such as in tourism and fishing.
“Long Island Sound is also a remarkable economic engine for our state – with studies placing its impact at more than $5.5 billion a year,” said Commissioner Daniel C. Esty of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at a February Task Force Meeting. He went on to recognize the dangers of storms like Irene and Sandy and their impact on Long Island Sound.
Clean beaches and healthy shellfish and fish benefit all Connecticut residents. Hopefully Westchester County and New York City will take similar steps to protect our shared natural resource.