A 2020 environmental report card for the water quality in Long Island Sound has been released.
An environmental report card has assigned grades for the water quality in Long Island Sound.
According to the report card by Save the Sound, nitrogen pollution remains the greatest threat.
“This concentration of people brings with it nutrient pollution stemming from wastewater and also storm water runoff from hardened surfaces like roofs and roads,” said UConn professor Jamie Vaudrey, who spearheaded the study.
“Progress has been made in reducing nitrogen, especially from wastewater treatment plants—but further reductions are needed!” said Save the Sound’s website.
The Western Narrows received an F (44%), the Eastern Narrows received a C (74%), the Western Basin received a B (86%), Central Basin received an A (95%) and the Eastern Basin received an A (99%).
According to Vaudrey, one reason the eastern Sound has better water quality is because it gets flushed out by ocean currents from the Atlantic. Reducing nitrogen pollution and upgrading septic systems could help improve water quality, she added.
The biennial report card for the first time also studied water quality in 38 bays in Connecticut and New York, according to WSHU. Only six received an A- or better.
In 2020, Save the Sound added 50 new grades for the bays on the margins of the Sound. The team brings the results to elected officials, environmental agencies, and the general public as part of their ongoing work to catalyze improvements in ecosystem health and promote restoration projects and investments.
Tracy Brown, Save the Sound’s regional director of water protection, said breaking down the grading into local waters filled a data gap, reported Newsday.
"For the past three report cards, we were just using open water data from the [EPA]," said Brown. “We could not really extrapolate from the open water conditions and tell people what their super local water conditions are."