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Parts of Long Island Sound have improved due to wastewater management

 Bridgeport, CT
Sabrina Garone
Bridgeport, CT

The Long Island Sound’s water quality has improved over the last year — for the most part. The latest annual report by environmental group Save the Sound awarded improved grades to most parts of the sound.

Long Island Soundkeeper Bill Lucey credited Connecticut and New York for getting major water pollution issues under control.

Lucey warned that now, it's up to residents to do their part.

“The problem now is us," Lucey said. "A lot of the nitrogen imports to the sound are from individuals, we're driving cars or exhaust is putting nitrous oxide up in the air. We have our individual septic tanks, which are leaching nitrogen into the ground. Nitrates, we have fertilizer on our lawns."

Lucey said despite continued effort to keep the water healthy, conservation efforts are hurt by climate change.

“What we're really dealing with is climate change," Lucey said. "So as the water warms up, it speeds up a lot of chemical reactions. And it also doesn't hold as much dissolved oxygen. So you can imagine a stagnant pool with a lot of fertilizer dumped in it's going to be full of algae and not a lot of oxygen. As things get hotter, that's the scenario we're starting to see.”

The report card contains 14 years of data from 50 bays around the Long Island Sound.

Bays closest to New York City remain poor without access to the ocean to flush them out. These are home to the most algal blooms and pollution.

Copyright 2022 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

Molly Ingram

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