Grant Awarded to Support Long Beach Preservation Efforts (CT)

STRATFORD, CT, 7/3/2009: The Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) has awarded $30,000 to The Trust for Public Land for restoration and cottage removal activities on Long Beach in Fairfield County. The gift is comprised of $16,000 from FCCF competitive funds and $14,000 from an anonymous donor advised grant.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization with offices in New Haven, announced the grant today. The grant supports TPL’s role managing a wide range of impending activities on Long Beach including permitting, planning, and contracting for removal of dozens of abandoned cottages, and implementing habitat restoration efforts.

At almost a mile long, Long Beach is one of Connecticut’s longest barrier beaches and is a haven for wildlife. Piping plovers and least terns nest on the beach, northern harriers hunt over the dunes, ospreys use the utility poles on the property to raise their young, and diamond back terrapin turtles bury their eggs along the shore. Long Beach also provides public access to Long Island Sound at the heart of a densely populated urban area. Lewis Gut-the body of water directly behind the barrier beach-has been identified as one of the most productive oyster beds on the Connecticut coast.

In late April 2009, Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro’s office announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had been awarded $909,000 in federal stimulus funds for cottage demolition work. More than $100,000 had been previously awarded to TPL for the demolition work and grant proposals are pending for nearly another $1 million in additional funding.

The Town of Stratford has pursued removal of the cottages for more than a decade. With funding for cottage removal secured by the Rep. DeLauro, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, TPL, and other partners, TPL has engaged an environmental consulting firm to begin the environmental assessment and permitting process necessary to initiate and coordinate the cottage removal and beach restoration work.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, working landscapes, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL has protected more than 2.8 million acres nationwide and nearly 6,000 acres in 40 Connecticut communities.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $110 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit