Wednesday, February 16, 2005

LI Sound Funding: Little to Worry About?

I understand that last week's news (scroll down) about the Bush administration's proposal to cut the Long Island Sound Study's budget to $700,000 (down from about $6 million) caused almost no consternation within the Sound office itself. Christopher Shays's office and Dave Miller at Audubon New York had it right, not surprisingly, when they said the executive budget always lowballs the Sound program and that funding has always been restored by Congress (albeit after the requisite intense lobbying).

There is one caveat, however. Congressman Steve Israel was quoted in Newsday as saying, "I think it's going to be hard to increase the amount of money because the debt is so large. There is so much competition for the crumbs that are left."

I'm told that some in EPA found that to be alarming because of Israel's position as co-chair of the House Long Island Sound caucus.

Let's hope he's just lowering expectations so it will appear to be more of a triumph when funding is restored.


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