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Rep. Zeldin Joins Save the Sound for Release of Long Island Sound Report Card

Date: Oct. 6, 2020
Location: Oyster Bay, NY
Issues: Environment

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, joined Caucus co-chair Congressman Tom Suozzi (D, NY-3), Save the Sound, local environmental advocates and other elected officials for the release of the third biennial Long Island Sound (LIS) Report Card. The LIS Report Card gives grades for the ecological health of 38 bays around the Sound and 5 open water regions.

Only 44% of the bays and bay segments received a grade of B or above. Nearly half (48%) received poor grades of D or below for dissolved oxygen levels, an important measure of water quality. Low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) can lead to fish and other marine life die-offs. Another finding of concern is poor grades resulting from excess seaweed as well as algae floating in the water, which are caused by nitrogen pollution entering the Sound from coastal and upstream communities.

"The Long Island Sound is critical to our way of life, culture and economy, supporting tens of billions of dollars in economic value per year," said Congressman Zeldin. "Protecting and restoring this important waterway, which has suffered from pollution and overdevelopment for too many years goes hand in hand with improving our area's overall water quality, restoring our natural habitats and improving local residents' quality of life. Working across the aisle and across the Sound, we've made great progress in preserving this critical waterway, but with nearly half of the waterways measured in this report as receiving a D grade or below, there's still work to do. Using the important findings of this report card, we can address these shortcomings and continue to build on this progress for generations to come."