U.S. Representative Tim Bishop led a bipartisan effort calling for equal funding for all 28 programs under the National Estuary Program.
The program protects sensitive ecosystems while reflecting local environmental and economic priorities of surrounding communities. Long Island is home to two estuaries of national significance that receive support from the NEP— Long Island Sound and the Peconic Estuary, both critical to Long Island’s water quality.
“Protecting the quality of our water supply on Long Island is vitally important because of its use for drinking, cooking, recreation, and as a source of livelihood for our local fishermen,” said Congressman Bishop in a press release issued last week. “The work done by the local programs funded through the NEP has been tremendous and must continue. In order to ensure our local programs, and those across the country, are as effective as possible, we must provide equal levels of funding for each.”
The NEP was established in 1987 as a part of the Clean Water Act and includes 28 estuaries in the United States and Puerto Rico. Each estuary program is required to develop and implement a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which is a long-term plan for targeted action addressing water quality, habitat and living resources.
In 2010, the House passed legislation introduced by Congressman Bishop and Congressman Frank LoBiondo to update management plans for the 28 estuaries of national significance and promote economic development along coastal areas. Last week’s letter requests that each estuary program continues to receive $600,000 for fiscal year 2015.