Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Federal Money Might Be Coming Toward the Sound, and Other News

$25 million for land stewardship ... Rep. Steve Israel, of Long Island, held a press conference yesterday to tell reporters the news that he supports the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act, which is a huge surprise since he’s sponsoring it. The two co-chairs of the Long Island Sound Study’s Citizens Advisory – Nancy Seligson, who lives in Westchester County, and John Atkin, who lives in Connecticut – joined him. Here, in a nutshell, is what the act would do, according to Newsday:

The legislation would authorize up to $25 million a year to protect sites along the Sound. Some of the sites will be open spaces that the funding would help preserve. Others would be private property that owners voluntarily sell …

It didn’t pass last year – Tom DeLay’s anti-environmentalist protégé, Richard Pombo, killed it – but Israel thinks it has a good shot this year.

People love this statistic, by the way:

He pointed out that 10 percent of the people in the United States live within 50 miles of the Sound.

The truth is though that it’s meaningless. Ten percent of the population lives within 50 miles of, say, the Hackensack River too, but so what?

Broadwater update … There’s been little Broadwater news lately, so yesterday Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, sent out this e-mail:

I thought you all would like an update on the Broadwater process. Here's the most up to date information regarding the timelines and hearings.

The US Coast Guard is predicting that they will release the safety and security report in the middle of June. This report will go to FERC and will be part of the Draft EIS. I spoke with FERC and they are currently planning to release the Draft EIS in August. They are also in the process of scheduling public hearings, most likely in September, but they are not yet scheduled.

The NYS Department of State has sent the Broadwater application back as incomplete. Broadwater is expected to resubmit their application to the state by the end of June. This means that, in accordance with the new energy act of 2006, the Consistency Ruling will need to be issued from DOS by December 2006.

Two new developments … Kyle Raban, at Friends of the Bay, is working to stop a big housing project by Avalon, in Oyster Bay. Their plans include a protest march on Sunday. More information is here and here.

Another big development is being planned for Storrs, by LeylandAlliance, a company I happen to know about and like. Basically, they’ve been hired to create a downtown for the University of Connecticut. Leyland is the developer for the Madison Landing project, which a lot of shoreline Connecticut residents don’t love. Here’s what I wrote about it last summer.

Geography lesson ... Where exactly is Winged Foot, the golf course where the U.S. Open is being held again this year?

This historic course lies across Long Island Sound from Manhattan Island.

That eyebrow-raising geographical description comes from a newspaper called the Daily Times, of Maryville, Tennessee:

Of course you could get in a boat on the East River, sail through Hell Gate and past Throgs Neck, and dock at Harbor Island (if Jim Mancusi, Mamaroneck’s harbor master lets you), and then get a taxi to Winged Foot, so I guess technically it is across the Sound from Manhattan. But it takes a different geographical perspective, I guess, to describe it that way.


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