BOSTON — Nov. 12, 2015 — Government and community groups across New York and Connecticut will benefit from 22 grants totaling more than $1.3 million to support the health and ecosystem of the Long Island Sound, according to a press release.

The Long Island Sound Futures Fund supports the projects, noted the release. The program will open seven miles of river for native fish and restore 180 acres of coastal habitat.

Connecticut groups will receive nine grants worth $600,433, plus $532,130 from the grantees, stated the release. Funds for the program are pooled from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We must take steps to ensure the health of Long Island Sound for future generations, especially because of the increasing environmental stresses caused by climate change. Vibrant, sustainable and resilient communities with clean water and healthy habitats are goals we must strive towards to make sure our children and grandchildren can enjoy Long Island Sound as we do today. The grants announced today represent active efforts to protect and restore the Sound, and therefore the community and economy,” stated EPA New England Regional Administrator H. Curtis Spalding in the release.

Because of the grants, almost 1.7 million gallons of water will be treated through water quality improvements, reported the release. More than 130,000 people will benefit from environmental and conservation programs.

“Long Island Sound is an amazing natural resource, which provides recreation and economic opportunities for millions of people,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Region 2 administrator, in the release. “These projects are smart investments that will improve water quality and build resiliency in shoreline communities.”

The Long Island Sound provides habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 fish species and dozens of species of migratory birds, shared the release. Millions of people also receive its economic and recreational benefits.

You can find the entire release here.