Stratford, CT - A ceremony was held today to break ground for a project to restore Long Beach West, one of Connecticut’s longest stretches of barrier beach. The project, supported by nearly $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding, involves demolishing the dilapidated remnants of a former summer community, removing debris and contaminants, and ultimately re-establishing 35-acres of beach to its natural state for people and wildlife.
U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro ( - CT) joined officials from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and numerous project partners for a groundbreaking ceremony this morning at the project site in Stratford, Connecticut. “I am very pleased to see the progress being made in improving Long Beach West, cleaning up or demolishing the cottages and restoring the local habitat. These long-needed repairs will enable Stratford to both protect and preserve Long Beach West and surrounding areas, which is why I worked to secure funding to make this project possible,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “I am so pleased to see these efforts and the addition funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are helping to improve our shoreline and our local economy. I applaud the efforts that have been made so far, and look forward to seeing the project’s completion.”
In addition to supporting jobs and the local economy, the project will have significant environmental benefit. The restored beach, which is designated as an internationally significant area by the National Audubon Society, will provide an important environment for migratory birds including protected species such as the piping plover and least tern; rare plants; and other wildlife. Passive public access to the beach will be also restored.
Sharon Marino, Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southern New England- New York Bight Coastal Program said , “The on the ground restoration of this site represents over two years of work with a large variety of partners to bring this project to fruition. This project will enhance the site for people and wildlife and is an excellent example of what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding was meant to be used for, providing jobs and investing in the improvement of local communities.”