Since the federal Clean Water Act became law in 1972, investments in water pollution control programs have led to measurable improvements in the water quality of Long Island Sound (the Sound).
Obvious sources of pollution were controlled through permit programs.
Tidal wetlands were protected,
wastewater treatment plants improved, and industrial discharges controlled.
However, to fully restore the health of the Sound, a cooperative effort focusing on the overall ecosystem was needed.
As a result, EPA, New York, and Connecticut formed the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) in 1985, a bi-state partnership consisting of federal and state agencies, user groups, concerned organizations, and individuals dedicated to restoring and protecting the Sound.
In 1994, the LISS developed a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) to protect and restore Long Island Sound.
This plan was revised in 2015 with 20 ambitious ecosystem targets to drive further progress through 203 5. The 2015 revision identified three underlying principles to integrate into all LISS efforts:
1) resiliency to climate change, 2) long-term sustainability, and 3) environmental justice.
In 2020 LISS formalized the Environmental Justice Work Group (EJWG), which meets quarterly and includes a subgroup focused on outreach and engagement with underserved communities.