More efforts are being made to help improve the quality of the Long Island Sound.

Earlier this month at the Port Jefferson Village Center, federal and state officials announced $2.57 million worth of grants will be awarded to local government and community groups to execute projects that will enhance the sound’s water quality and to restore its ecosystem.

In total, 36 grants were dispersed to various organizations across New York and Connecticut.

Locally, Port Jefferson Harbor received $122,693 in funding to install native plant rain gardens at the Maritime Explorium, which will show visitors “how rain gardens improve the water quality and biodiversity of Long Island Sound.”

For the uninitiated, a rain garden is a garden bed that collects water runoff, allowing it to be soaked into the ground. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this process helps filter out pollutants in the water while providing nutrients to the local wildlife.

This grant was helped fund by the EPA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“I know all of us share great excitement with, and are energized by, the depth and breadth of community commitment evidenced by these projects,” said the EPA regional administrator Pete Lopez.

“They give New Yorkers the opportunity to support pollution prevention, stormwater control, wetland and habitat restoration, water monitoring and public education as effective ways to enhance long-term stewardship of Long Island Sound, while promoting its sustainable recreational and economic uses.”

To learn more about this project, click here.

Top: Scenic shot of the Port Jefferson Harbor. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)