Protecting our Air, Land and Water

Protecting our Air, Land and Water


Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound managed the installation of a bioswale outside Edgewood School in New Haven. Photo Courtesy of Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound

After decades of effort, the health of Long Island Sound is beginning show signs of improvement. But long stretches of coastal waters remain imperiled by pollution. Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound is on a mission to clean them and continue protecting the region’s air, water, and land.

Originally two separate organizations that were founded in the 1970s, Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound merged in 2004 to become one of the leading environmental advocacy and policy groups in the Connecticut and New York region. Its advocates work with state legislatures in Hartford and Albany as well U.S. representatives to pass strong environmental laws and policies. And when municipalities and companies violate clean water laws, staff attorneys hold them accountable. The organization also tests water quality, cleans beaches, restores habitats, removes dams, and installs green infrastructure such as raingardens that reduce storm water pollution.

“We have a diverse set of tools we use to protect and clean the water, land and air,” says President Don Straight. “We use the right tool for the project at hand.”

One recent project in New Haven removed the tidal gates at the mouth of the West River. The wetlands now have a healthier circulation of water and the fish have a clear path to migrate upstream. Another project removed a dam further up the West River near Amity.

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound applied for the federal grant funding and managed both projects. The organization is also involved in many local projects to install rain gardens and bioswales along roadsides to allow storm water to naturally filter into the ground rather than flood into the sewer systems and out to the Sound.

After decades of concerted attention by Connecticut and New York state governments to projects such as upgrading sewage treatment plants, the deeper waters of Long Island Sound are showing signs of slow improvement, according to the Long Island Sound report card. But problems persist in the estuaries, where freshwater streams and rivers mix with the salty ocean water.

“Bays and harbors are in bad shape all along the Sound,” says Straight.  “The Sound has started to come back, which proves that the effort is worthwhile. But we still need to do a lot more."

There are various ways you can help keep our natural resources clean. Find out how to get involved.

For more information about Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save The Sound, visit its profile on giveGreater.org®.

Learn about more nonprofits working to protect the environment in our region in our series, "A Closer Look" on giveGreater.org®.

Did you know?

You can review the health of any beach along Long Island Sound here.  

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

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