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Grants will help remove derelict fishing gear

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently awarded two grants to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County to identify and remove more than 260,000 pounds of marine debris from Long Island Sound.

The awards, totaling $254,282, will employ as many as 45 local lobstermen to identify and remove derelict fishing gear, reclaiming more than 40,000 acres of the sea floor of Long Island Sound.

“This innovative plan will use federal funds to put local fishermen to work and use their knowledge of Long Island Sound to make it more hospitable to diverse marine life, including commercially valuable species such as lobster,” U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., said in a statement. "I will continue to strongly support the innovative public-private partnerships that have facilitated steady improvement in the Sound's water quality in recent years.”

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