Save Plum Island — Sign CFE’s Petition

Aug 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Long Island Sound, Open Space, Top Story

The online petition from the Connecticut Fund for the Environment is targeting the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

The aim is to keep the federal government from selling Plum Island — an 843-acre island at the eastern end of Long Island Sound — to the highest bidder.

Plum Island has long been the home of a federal research facility and it has been recognized as an important sanctuary for wildlife and native plants. Tell leaders from Connecticut and New York to protect this rare habitat from development and keep it a publically owned wildlife refuge by getting involved and signing this online petition.

The full text of the petition is as follows:

Plum Island, an 843-acre island in New York waters between Orient Point and Fisher’s Island, has long been the home of a USDA research facility, which allowed most of the island to remain an undeveloped sanctuary for wildlife and native plants.

The federal and state governments identified 33 valuable stewardship sites around Long Island Sound for the purpose of conserving and restoring a network of great coastal places for current and future generations. Plum Island and the Gull Islands were recognized as an “exemplary” habitat area deserving of special protection. The National Audubon Society has identified Plum Island as an Important Bird Area.

Now the research facility is being moved to Kansas and the federal government’s General Services Administration is preparing to sell Plum Island to the highest bidder. One part of government is not talking to the other, and it’s putting this rare island at risk of intensive private development that could ruin wildlife habitats, pollute the Sound, and preclude public access.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of allowing short-sighted development, we could save this critical habitat and conserve this precious place for future generations.

The undeveloped majority of the island could become a wildlife refuge. The beaches, marshes, and forests of Plum Island could be protected as open space, and trails added for the public to enjoy. The already developed portion could be sold for low impact re-use. There are many options that would let Connecticut and New York citizens connect with one of the Sound’s last great places.

Please act to protect this jewel of an island. Plum Island is a bellwether for the fate of the Sound—don’t let it be sold off for private development.

Visit the petition site and sign it here.

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