November 12, 2015 was a great day for birds, people, Audubon Connecticut’s Schoolyard Habitat and Shorebird Conservation programs, and Long Island Sound (LIS). In an announcement made by top federal and state environmental officials, Audubon Connecticut was honored to be one of 22 grant award recipients of the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF)—with a generous award of $34,993 going towards our Schoolyard Habitats (SYH) program. Focused along the LIS in New Haven and Stamford, SYH is designed to provide critical bird habitat for migratory songbirds in urban areas using school grounds as outdoor living classrooms to engage students in hands-on conservation and to increase knowledge about and connection to LIS habitats and wildlife.
The LISFF announcement was made at a celebratory event at Stratford Point, an Important Bird Area Audubon Connecticut helps to protect that is located on the shoreline in Stratford. Attendees were welcomed by Audubon Connecticut Executive Director Stewart Hudson, who shared the significance of our SYH and LIS programs—which support the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Long Island Sound. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Conn., U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Conn., Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Conn., and Congressman Jim Himes, Conn., were among those present in support of the important work being done to protect and improve the health and ecosystem of LIS in Connecticut and New York. Audubon Connecticut Director of Bird Conservation Patrick Comins led a tour of Stratford Point, providing attendees with a special front row perspective of bird conservation in a rich coastal habitat.
The LISFF is a public-private grant program, which pools funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Audubon Connecticut extends a heartfelt thank you to the funding organizations and to the other 21 LISFF grant recipients for their efforts to protect the Long Island Sound.