Friends of the Bay recently received a grant from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to fund the engineering design of phase one of the restoration of Mill River – Beekman Creek. Major financial support for the Sound Futures Fund is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in concert with the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), FedEx, Carolyn Conklin Trust, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The goals of the fund are to stimulate restoration of important habitats; encourage locally-based projects that improve water quality and protect water resources; support communities in developing and implementing watershed management plans; encourage environmentally sensitive development and land-use planning; develop the capacity of state and local governments, citizens groups, educational, and other organizations to promote community based stewardship; increase public access to water and open space; provide opportunities for direct educational experiences with the Sound; and promote a greater understanding of the estuary and the interrelationship between the health of the Sound and the condition of local watersheds.
This particular grant will fund the feasibility, planning and design phase of a comprehensive multi-phased plan for the rehabilitation of Mill River and Beekman Creek. Friends of the Bay, in partnership with the Town of Oyster Bay and the Long Island Chapter of Trout Unlimited is spearheading and effort to develop a restoration and stewardship plan for the Mill River sub-watershed from the outflow at Beekman Creek to Glen Cove Road and beyond. This will be a comprehensive multi-phased effort and will result in improvements to fish and wildlife habitat diadromous fish passage, water quality, public access, education, invasive species removal and stormwater control. The completion of this project will result in the reconnection and restoration of fragmented sections of Mill River and Beekman Creek and the establishment of a walking trail that will connect Beekman Beach and the Western Waterfront to the Mill Pond. The multi-phased approach will allow Friends of the Bay to demonstrate tangible results at the completion of each phase.