Senator Hwang Joins Environmental Leaders Supporting ‘Blue Plan’

February 11, 2015

BRANFORD – Panoramic views of Long Island Sound served as the backdrop Feb. 9 as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and environmental leaders called on Connecticut’s legislature to pass the Blue Plan.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, the Blue Plan directs the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and UConn to convene relevant state agencies, academic institutions, and stakeholders to compile an inventory of the natural resources and the human resources of the Long Island Sound, and to use that information to develop a plan to guide future uses of the Sound’s waters and submerged lands.

The press conference was held at Branford’s Owenego Inn, and the Governor’s Office invited state Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) given his record as an environmental champion and his strong support of the Blue Plan in the last legislative session.

Senator Hwang introduced the Blue Plan legislation this year, though it is expected to be raised as a committee bill.

In addition to the Governor, Senator Hwang was proud to stand in support of the Blue Plan with Environment Committee Co-Chairs, Senator Ted Kennedy Jr., (D-Branford) and state Rep. James Albis (D-East Haven), as well as state Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee and environmental advocates.

“This Blue Plan will become the blueprint that will guide Connecticut’s management of one of our most important environmental assets – the Long Island Sound,” said Sen. Hwang. “I want to thank Governor Malloy for this undertaking and demonstrating the bold and necessary leadership that sends a powerful message that protecting our natural ecosystems is not only good public policy, it’s good for business.”

Long Island Sound contributes more than $5.5 billion for the local economy and is home to more than 120 species of finfish and countless varieties of birds and other animals, the Governor’s Office reports.

“The Blue Plan will help Connecticut to maximize the economic potential of the Long Island Sound in a way that respects its connection to our quality of life and its environmental significance,” Sen. Hwang said. “By pulling this data together for the first time, we will be able to make informed decisions and manage this natural resource while also taking into account the unique characteristics of communities from Stonington to Greenwich.”

In announcing his support and leadership of the Blue Plan, Gov. Malloy said, “The Long Island Sound is critical for Connecticut’s economy and the millions of people who rely on its resources, and yet our state does not have any existing authority to plan for its future use and protection on an overall basis. We need to act now in order to protect our vital coastline, allow comprehensive and regional planning for use of the Sound.”

“Establishing a Blue Plan for Long Island Sound is vital to its preservation and the development of job-creating commercial entities along Connecticut’s coastline,” Sen. Kennedy said. “Our shoreline’s natural resources will be catalogued and made available, all without spending any additional state dollars. This will be a significant boost to the region, securing the coastline while also providing opportunities for the state’s growing aquaculture businesses and other industries.”