In an effort to help close the state budget deficit, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced the abolishment of the program dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Long Island Sound. This program, which will end Oct. 1, was created by the General Assembly in 1993 to raise public awareness and increase accessibility to the Sound through the purchase of specialty “Preserve the Sound” plates. The disbandment of 20 specialty funds within the Department of Environmental Protection is expected to divert approximately $143 million in the next two fiscal years. The fund has invested approximately $5 million in 294 education and conservation projects.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.