On December 7, 2020, federal and state environmental officials from New England and New York announced awards of 38 grants totaling $3.8 million to local government, non-governmental organizations, and community groups to improve the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound. Included among the grantees is the Henry L. Ferguson Museum to support the work of Fishers Island Seagrass Management (FISM) for stakeholder engagement and planning for eelgrass protection on Fishers Island. It is the first federally funded grant awarded to the Museum in its history.
The grant totals $44,798 with grantee matching funds of $33,661 for a total conservation impact of $78,459. “Long Island Sound is vital to local communities, economies, and ecosystems, and these grants will greatly benefit the Sound for years to come,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel.
The grant awarded to the Henry L. Ferguson Museum in support of FISM will deliver an outreach program to stakeholder communities presenting scenarios for eelgrass protection at Fishers Island, New York, and New London, Connecticut. It will include the development of a management plan based on community stakeholder input.
Work such as this, marshaled by the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF), has shown how projects led by local groups and communities make a big difference in improving water quality and restoring habitat around the Long Island Sound watershed. The grant program combines funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).
Museum President Elizabeth McCance said of the newly awarded grant, “It is very exciting to have the Coalition’s work recognized on a federal level. We look forward to implementing this grant and continuing to protect this critical resource.”