The next time there’s a big environmental funding battle or a major natural disaster involving Long Island Sound, the people who represent us in Hartford won’t have to scramble quite so much to unify, mobilize and speak with one organized voice.
That’s because they’ll already be organized and working toward common goals with their counterparts across and around the Sound in New York via a new bipartisan Long Island Sound caucus that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gave his support to Wednesday.
The caucus will be guided and organized by a 12-member steering committee that includes six shoreline-area state senators and six state representatives — both Republicans and Democrats. They will work together to address environmental, economic and energy issues affecting Long Island Sound.
Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, released the following statement today after a press conference was held at the State Capitol announcing the creation of a bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus at the state legislature.
“This is a great step for the future of Long Island Sound,” said Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound. “Seals, lobsters, and striped bass do not abide by political boundaries, so protecting the Sound’s waters must be a bipartisan, bi-state effort. The creation of the Long Island Sound Caucus, with members from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate, will be just that. Now there will be a strong, united voice for the restoration and protection of Long Island Sound at the Capitol. We look forward to working with the Caucus in the future.”
Long Island Sound is co-owned by Connecticut and New York and contributes billions of dollars to the regional economy every year. Efforts to improve its water quality, habitats and job creation potential have been growing in recent years. Over the summer and fall, legislators from both states met in Port Jefferson, NY and Bridgeport, CT to build on the alliance forged during the Broadwater fight and to discuss regional partnerships for the future. The Long Island Sound Caucus announced today is the first step in this concerted bi-state legislator effort.