Weekly Update: Experiencing Earth Day Together

Experiencing Earth Day

We hope you all had a wonderful Earth Day weekend! It was inspiring to connect with so many of you in celebrating the wonder of our shared planet as we recommit ourselves to another year of protecting and restoring our Long Island Sound region.  

Our team talked and worked alongside you Saturday in Bridgeport, Groton, Hamden, Larchmont, Lyme, Milford, and Mount Vernon. Below are just a few highlights! 

Hamden, CT residents got a firsthand look at their new 2.5-acre rain garden, currently under construction in Town Center Park, where hundreds gathered for the town’s annual Earth Day celebration. Our aquarium-sized rain garden model illustrated how the full-scale project will filter pollutants from stormwater before it reaches the nearby Mill River. Visitors also learned about soil and water testing that will soon be underway on the Six Lakes property in southern Hamden, where we hope to someday work with the community to create a public park. 

Mt Vernon, NY mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard gathered local leaders and community partners on the steps of Town Hall and addressed a range of environmental priorities, from the sewage backups and lead pipe problems that have plagued Mount Vernon to restoring the city’s tree canopy and beautifying its business district. 

Our Earth Day cleanup at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT brought out dedicated volunteers who collected 58 pounds of trash despite a cloudy, windy day. Some of the strangest items found were a pile of 500 nails, a rusty dart, and pieces of plastic action figures. It’s important to clean up our beaches, parks, marshes, and riverbanks to keep them safe for people and wildlife alike. Stay tuned for more cleanups to be scheduled on our website.

Larchmont, NY residents expressed an interest in learning more about our water quality monitoring programs and the effects of lawn fertilizer on Long Island Sound. Pictured below, our water quality director Peter Linderoth talks with Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). 

We are grateful to have you working alongside us to clean up parks and beaches, to plant rain gardens, to spot pollution and get it fixed, and to strengthen the laws that can give us a healthy and just world. 

Read on for more opportunities to connect at events this week and next. 

Good news, bad news on CT greenhouse gas inventory 

Connecticut’s latest greenhouse gas inventory, released late last week by the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, asserts that CT has met its relatively modest 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target set in the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act. However, Connecticut is not on track to meet its 2030 and 2050 commitments, and currently, state agencies aren’t required to consider climate impacts when making decisions that could increase pollution. Moreover, the latest science says steeper reductions than those established in 2008 are necessary to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.  New York and other neighboring states have already recognized in law the need for more aggressive reductions and accountability, and Connecticut is falling behind. 

To protect our communities and build a strong future for Connecticut, we’re calling for the law to be updated with the best science available and strengthened to be more enforceable, and for measures to actually achieve the reductions and protect public health. Read the full greenhouse gas emissions report here, and the response from CT Coalition for Climate Action here

New York budget delayed . . . again 

April Fool’s Day. Tax Day. National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. Earth Day. All of these are supposed to be celebrated after New York State has its annual budget in place. Not this year. 

Last Thursday’s deadline, already a third extension, passed without an agreement in Albany and gave way to a fourth, which will expire today, when a fifth is expected to be implemented by the legislature. Will World Penguin Day tomorrow be yet another day a new budget fails to take flight?

We’re not just keeping an eye on the budget talks. We’re also working with legislators to advance several bills that address priority issues including resiliency and climate justice. There’s still time for the legislature to act on these bills before the 2023 session ends seven weeks and four days from now—on World Oceans Day. 

… but NY Environmental Bond Act funds ready to flow 

Somewhere in New York State, a municipality is planning some local infrastructure project, unaware that it is about to make history. That’s because the first of $4.25 billion will soon enter the pipeline and later this year will be granted to the first recipient of Environmental Bond Act funds. On May 3, the window will open for municipalities to apply for funding from the Water Infrastructure and Intermunicipal Grant programs. This year the pot is bigger thanks to $225 million from the Bond Act, which passed in New York State back in November.

These programs help municipalities fund water infrastructure upgrades, protect clean drinking water, and enhance resiliency. According to Governor Hochul’s office, this boost from the Bond Act will prioritize “drinking water projects that address emerging contaminants as well as critical wastewater projects.” 

Municipal leaders can get more information on state water grants here.

Help make history in New Haven’s Great Give 

Have you dreamed of making history? Of course, we all have! And now you have a chance to be a part of Greater New Haven’s day of giving–an opportunity to unite our community to help nonprofit organizations like Save the Sound connect with more people. 

We need your help! Save the date (May 3-4) and the link for Great Give 2023. Tell your friends and family why you support Save the Sound and ask them to join us in making a difference. 

Get ready to give! Amplify your impact for your local community by making a donation on May 3-4 to unlock cash prizes. All giving will end at 8:00 p.m. on May 4, so make sure to get your gift in on time! 

Questions? For more information, email Amanda at ajames@savethesound.org. Thank you in advance for your generosity! 

Upcoming Events 

  • Youth Eco Advocacy Corps – Monday, Apr. 24 at 6 p.m., webinar. Register.
  • Strong’s Storage DEIS: What’s Proposed and How You Can Be Part of the Process, Wed., April 26 at 6:00 p.m., webinar. Speakers will share background on Strong’s Storage, highlight key points of the project’s DEIS, and teach participants how to evaluate and respond to a DEIS and how to engage as a citizen in the process. Register here.  
  • Breakfast Club – Thursday, Apr. 27 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., online. This quarterly webinar is a benefit reserved for Save the Sound donors who give monthly and to members who give $250 or more a year. We will talk about our watershed planning efforts to restore the Hutchinson River in New York and opportunities for getting involved. Register here
  • Water Quality Presentation – Thursday, Apr. 27 at 6:15 p.m., Northport, NY. Learn about the quality of our waterways, solutions to protect them, and how the NYS Environmental Bond Act can help. Hosted by Northport Yacht Club and sponsored by the Northport Yacht Club’s Women’s Committee, you’re invited to hear an insightful presentation from David Ansel, vice president of water protection. Learn more
  • CT Spring Boat Show – Friday, Apr. 28 to Sunday, Apr. 30 at Safe Harbor Essex Island, Essex, CT. Visit our table throughout the weekend, enjoy live music, and hear a talk from Soundkeeper Bill Lucey on Saturday at 1 p.m . Register here
  • Long Island Natural History Conference – Friday, Apr. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Islip, NY.This annual conference hosted by Seatuck brings together scientists, conservationists, and more to discuss topics as far-ranging as coyotes and scallops. Meet Save the Sound staff and hear an update from our Long Island Natural Areas Manager, Louise Harrison. Details and registration.
  • Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride – Saturday, Apr. 29 in New Haven. Countdown begins! Sign up THIS WEEK to cycle or hike with us. Raise money for Save the Sound or donate to our team. Thanks to a generous donor, all funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar until $2,500 is reached! Click here for next steps. 

Quick Links 

  • Join the fun, join the mission! We’re hiring for a Membership Stewardship Specialist to develop positive relationships with our supporters. See this week’s featured job, and six more, on our website.
  • CT’s environmental justice law isn’t yet protecting public health the way it needs to. Karen Jubanyik of Yale University School of Medicine lays out what we can do in the CT Post
  • “Preparing for Drought in Connecticut” was the subject of an April 12 webinar by the State Water Plan Outreach and Education Subgroup, which overviewed how drought conditions are monitored and how municipalities can better prepare. Watch here
  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s statewide listening tour about the Environmental Bond Act launches May 30.

Photo of the Week

CT state representative Christine Palm was honored with a Cronkite Award for Climate Education, one of five honorees nationally. Our own Alex Rodriguez (on her right) was there to congratulate her. 

Would you like your photo to be featured in an upcoming issue? Send it to us at info@savethesound.org!

Get Involved
Jump in

Join the fight! Memberships start at just $25 – support that’s badly needed now for a healthy, sustainable environment over the long term.

Join now

Take part

Sunday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.
2023 Annual Meeting Join us at the Larchmont Yacht Club in New York as we celebrate achievements, explore a greener future, and enjoy the view of Long Island Sound with refreshments in hand.

See more

Connect with us

Stay in touch by joining our activist network email list. We'll keep you up-to-date with current initiatives, ways you can take action and volunteer opportunities.

Sign up