NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH/AP) — All it takes is a moment with Sen. Joe Lieberman, and you know he's got the waters of Long Island Sound deep in his veins. That's why he wasn't about to overlook a chance to ensure that the vitality of the Sound resonates every bit as strong in the future.
"It takes eternal vigilance to protect Long Island Sound," Sen. Lieberman said.
And, with his time as a senator anything but eternal, Lieberman wants to make sure the torch that is Long Island Sound is received with equal passion by his successors.
"There are challenges ahead," Lieberman said. "Climate change will threaten the Sound, and some of the chemicals dripping in to the Sound will as well, so we've got work to do."
The outgoing senator hosted a roundtable discussion in New Haven Thursday, his passion not lost on his contemporaries.
"I think, environmentally, there's precious little that's more important to Connecticut than Long Island Sound," Gov. Dannel Malloy said,"and the reality is that Connecticut has done its job to make sure that Long Island Sound is as clean as we can make it."
That was a thinly veiled assertion that, though the Sound's namesake isn't part of Connecticut, the Empire State isn't doing its fair share.
"We need to put additional pressure on New York to match our efforts," Malloy said.
That said, the leaders present -- mostly from the north side of the Sound -- emphasize the urgency of individual responsibility.
"It happens every day on the Sound, discarding trash or sewerage, and really failing to follow the rule of stewardship, which is, everybody makes a difference," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
At every level, even beyond Connecticut and New York.
"We do look at it as a two-state resource, really a three-state resource including Rhode Island as well," said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty, "and I think it has to be managed across boundaries."
Esty said that indeed Connecticut has done a "pretty good job" and that our friends in New York need to step up their game, but he says it's a perfect beach day, and that Connecticut shoreliners can feel every confidence about going to the beach.
Also taking part in the discussion were the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator, the regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the district commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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