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Long Island Sound partners awarded grant to promote sustainable practices in agriculture and use LCC tools to prioritize actions

With funding from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, a project will use North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) tools to prioritize conservation actions related to agriculture.
Long Island Sound partners awarded grant to promote sustainable practices in agriculture and use LCC tools to prioritize actions

NASA

Every summer, Long Island Sound experiences another episode of a problem that has been recurring since the 1950s: Hypoxia, where the amount of dissolved oxygen in water has dropped below the level needed to support aquatic life.

 The decades-long cycle is difficult to break because the cause of the problem grows every summer - literally. One of the main sources of the so-called “dead zone” in the Sound is excess nutrients from agricultural producers in the Connecticut River and greater Long Island Sound Watershed, encompassing parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Now a project being led by the Connecticut Council on Soil and Water Conservation with seven partners is undertaking an effort to address this decades-long issue one farm at a time through the Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program supports efforts that find common ground among agricultural producers and conservation organizations in working towards the sustainable use of soil, water, and other natural resources.

The Long Island Sound project will develop a comprehensive, whole-farm management certainty program for farmers in the area. By using both working lands and easement programs to improve soil health and nutrient management, establishing community resiliency areas with a focus on enhancing riparian areas, and instituting a land protection program to protect agricultural and forestry areas, the partnership will help address nutrient pollution at the source.

Prioritizing areas for land protection and riparian restoration under this project will be carried out in part using information tools and designs developed through the Landscape Conservation Design Pilot for the Connecticut River Watershed, a collaborative effort of the North Atlantic LCC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a team of partners from federal and state agencies and private organizations.

Other national projects funded through this Regional Conservation Partnership Program effort in the Northeast region include: Lake Champlain Watershed, Delaware River Watershed, and four projects in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Conservation Area.

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