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EPA Scientists Collaborate with States to Protect Long Island Sound Air Quality

August 20, 2018

By: United States Environmental Protection Agency

Expansive views of land across water, gulls cawing, water lapping on the rocks: this is Long Island Sound. Despite its proximity to New York City and other major urban areas, a diverse array of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems dot this narrow land that stretches out toward the Atlantic Ocean.

The unique geography of Long Island Sound presents an interesting challenge for scientists. For example, the cooler surrounding waters trap regional air pollutants above the water. As temperatures rise, the breeze pulls this pollution inland. This leads to high ground-level ozone concentrations along the shorelines of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Although ozone levels have decreased in recent years, they still persistently exceed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

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