“Save, Don’t Sell, Plum Island” – U.S. Senate and House introduce legislation

Save the Sound and fellow members of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition joined Connecticut and New York  legislators on Tuesday to announce the introduction of bills in the U.S. Senate and House aimed at halting the sale of Plum Island.

You can watch highlights from the press conference with Congressman Bishop here, or read more.

Our press statement supporting the legislation is below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

SAVE THE SOUND SUPPORTS FEDERAL LEGISLATION TO HALT PLUM ISLAND SALE

New Haven, CT — Save the Sound supports a pair of bills introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today by legislators from Connecticut and New York. The legislation aims to halt the sale of Plum Island, NY, by repealing a portion of a 2008 law that requires an auction of the 843-acre island.

The bipartisan House bill, known as the “Save, Don’t Sell Plum Island” bill, is sponsored by Congressman Timothy Bishop (D-NY), Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY), and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT). Save the Sound and other members of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition joined Congressman Bishop at a press conference in Orient, Long Island, this morning to announce it.

The Senate bill, sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), was announced shortly thereafter.

“Plum Island has been recognized by the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state agencies for the richness of the natural resources both on the island and in its surrounding waters,” said Save the Sound attorney Charles Rothenberger. “The United States spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to purchase properties for conservation. It defies logic that the same government is planning to sell off a property it already owns—particularly an official Long Island Sound Stewardship site that possesses such a rare mix of important ecological resources and historic sites and that is located in one of the most overdeveloped regions of the country. Nevertheless, the General Services Administration has insisted on proceeding with a sale, arguing that it is required to do so by law.”

“The legislation introduced today would eliminate that excuse. It’s a common-sense approach that will help to protect Plum Island for future generations, and we applaud the Connecticut and New York delegations for their leadership in introducing it,” Rothenberger said.

A joint press release from the Connecticut delegation may be read here. Congressman Bishop’s press release may be read here.

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Posted by Laura McMillan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound

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