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Nature and the Environment

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Essay title: Nature and the Environment

"Nature and the Environment"

"Ecology or the study of nature and the environment involves us in the conservation of the earth. We are at a point in the history of civilization where awareness of our fragile relationship to nature and the environment is high. We are losing 3,000 acres of rain forest around the world and four species of plants and animals. More plants, insects, birds and animals became extinct in the 20th century than in any era since the Cretaceous catastrophe more than 65 million years ago the led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. The modification of human behavior in an effort to conserve nature is a complex matter. It is not an easy task to preserve the earth but it is essential, for us, too, could become an endangered species." (Gilbert H Muller pg. 608)

The Long Island Sound is a vital resource used by both humans and wildlife. The quality of its water is an issue that effects everyone and everything. Scientific studies and continuous monitoring provide evidence as to what actions need to be taken to improve and restore the water quality. In more ways than one, the United States government has devoted much of its time to ensure the revival and protection of the Long Island Sound.

There are many ways to help in the protection of the Long Island Sound. Various government agencies and organizations initiate projects beneficial to the Sound. The government donates grants and money for funding for the Long Island Sound. There are also bills and legislation passed by the government, which provides laws protecting the sound.

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The Long Island Sound Study (LISS) is a partnership devoted in the restoration and protection of the Sound. This partnership involves federal, state, interstate, and local agencies, universities, environmental groups, industry, and the public in a program to protect and restore the health of Long Island Sound. The Long Island Sound Study has seven issues deserving special attention. "These issues are low oxygen conditions, otherwise called hypoxia, toxic contamination, pathogen contamination, floatable debris, the impact of these water quality problems and habitat degradation and loss on the health of living resources, public involvement and education, and land use." (DeVilleneuve, Robert)

The LISS is undergoing studies that in hopes will reduce the extent of hypoxia. In order to restore the health of Long Island Sound additional nitrogen reduction is needed. Two major research efforts have provided much of the information on how low oxygen conditions affect living resources in the Sound. The EPA's (Environmental Protections Agencies) Office of Research and Development conducted a study which was the first major research effort. The study used a variety of species of fish, crab, shrimp, lobster, and other crustaceans known to live on the bottom waters of the Long Island Sound were exposed to low levels of oxygen in the laboratory. The effect of different concentration of oxygen on growth and survival was measured.

"The second study which provided information on the effects of low oxygen conditions in the Sound was conducted by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP). The CTDEP collected bottom- dwelling fish and invertebrates and

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compared the quantity of organisms and number of species with the levels of oxygen in the water. Both of these studies confirmed that severe effects occurred whenever levels

of oxygen fell below 2.0 mg/l."( DeVilleneuve, Robert) Large reductions in the numbers and types of aquatic life present were noted. The lab experiments recorded reductions in both growth and increase in death.

The Long Island Sound Study is receiving funding for the wastewater treatment facility improvements for the Sound. The main source of funding comes from the State Revolving Fund Programs. The Environmental Protections Agency, through the federal Clean Water Act, provides financing to support State Revolving Fund Loan Programs. Connecticut uses the capitalization grant from the EPA to leverage with state bond funds to provide grants and low interest loans.

"New York, Connecticut,

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