Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NOFA OLC receives grant to create an Organic Lawn Care Certificate Program!

The OLC Program Director, Jenna Messier and CT NOFA Executive Director, Bill Duesing, point to the NOFA OLC project on the map of the LISFF funded programs!

We at NOFA Organic Land Care are so excited for our new Organic Lawn Certificate Course, check out the grant announcement below, and stay tuned.  Also check our Lawn Certificate Course page for updates.

More Than $1.6 Million Awarded for Community-Based Projects to Improve Health of Long Island Sound

Old Field, NY - Top federal and state environmental officials today announced 35 grants totaling $1.6 million to state and local government and community groups in New York and Connecticut to improve the health of Long Island Sound.  The projects, which are funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, will open up 50 river miles for passage of fish, and restore 390 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat including lakes, underwater grasses, woodlands, meadows, wetlands, beaches and rivers and parks along the waterfront.  Twenty grants totaling $757,922 will be awarded to groups in Connecticut leveraged by $1.4 million from the grantees themselves.   

This public-private grant program pools funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Wells Fargo.

"Protecting and restoring Long Island Sound have long been priorities for EPA," said EPA Regional Administrator for New England Curt Spalding. "These grants will support vital and diverse projects throughout the region to improve water quality and remove pollution from the Long Island Sound watershed, and involve the public in the protection of one of the nation's most important natural treasures."

“One of the greatest environmental challenges facing our communities is the protection and restoration of estuaries,” said David O’Neill, Director, Eastern Partnership Office, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “The funding awarded today represents the Foundation’s continuing commitment, as well as the commitment of our federal and state partners, to further restoration efforts aimed at improving the overall health of the Long Island Sound.”

The Long Island Sound Study initiated the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in 2005 through the EPA’s Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. To date, the program has invested $10.5 million in 261 projects in communities surrounding the Sound.  With grantee match of $23 million, the Long Island Sound Futures Fund has generated a total of almost $33.5 million for projects in both states.  

"I am pleased to see funding go to projects that engage local communities in the protection and restoration of local fish and wildlife habitats,” said Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Equally exciting are the partnerships with public and private landowners that will increase our ability to work effectively on the ground in the Long Island Sound area. These grants go directly to protecting our shared natural resources—from opening rivers for native fish and restoring habitat for songbirds and shorebirds, to educating children who are the future stewards of the Sound.”
Jay Mar, Connecticut State Conservationist, NRCS, added, "This year's funding of projects to engage farmers and land managers throughout communities in the watershed will help accomplish important wildlife goals through the New England Cottontail Initiative, and manure management advances to improve ecological and economic health of the Sound.”
“Connecticut DEEP is pleased to work with our partners in the Long Island Sound Study to preserve and protect Long Island Sound – one of the region’s most valuable natural resources,” said Brian Thompson, Director of Long Island Sound Programs. “This year $757,922 in Long Island Sound Futures Funds grants are being awarded to 20 important Connecticut programs. The grant funding covers a wide range of projects including restoration of fish habitat, removal of invasive plants, restoring New England Cottontail Rabbit population, preparation of significant management plans, and implementation of educational programs that will protect Long Island Sound for future generations.”

Long Island Sound is an estuary that provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people, while also providing habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 species of fish, and dozens of species of migratory birds. The Long Island Sound Study, developed under the EPA’s National Estuary Program, is a cooperative effort between the EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore the Sound and its ecosystem. To learn more about the LISS, visit www.longislandsoundstudy.net. For full descriptions of the Long Island Sound Futures Fund Grants, visit http://longislandsoundstudy.net/about/grants/lis-futures-fund/.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, established by Congress in 1984, is an international leader in developing public and private funding to protect wildlife and natural resources. In 26 years, NFWF has funded 4,000 organizations and leveraged $576 million in federal funds into $2 billion for conservation. The achievement of clear, measurable results is central to its work. The foundation brings together diverse stakeholders—from industry to Congress to local leaders—to accomplish positive outcomes.  NFWF currently works with 14 federal partners and more than 50 corporate and foundation partners. To learn more about NFWF, visit www.nfwf.org.