Plum Island Visioning Project Receives National Natural Resource Management Award

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Environmental Consultancy Marstel-Day and its client, Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, have been recognized with a Project Merit Award in Natural Resource Management by the Environmental Business Journal for their joint work in developing a vision for conservation pathways to preserve Plum Island, New York.
Ecologically rich Plum Island-currently home to a federal animal disease research center that employs 300 people-and its waters include rocky shorelines and sandy beaches, wetlands and grasslands, upland shrub and forest; a significant seal haul-out and over 200 species of birds including two federally endangered species; and historic Fort Terry and the Plum Island Lighthouse. The research facility is slated to close and the federal government currently plans to auction the entire property.

Working together, Marstel-Day and CFE/Save the Sound developed initial conservation scenarios, pathways, and proposed outcomes with the goals of permanent conservation, habitat protection, and integrated compatible reuse of the island’s existing infrastructure. The award-winning plan will guide development of a more detailed visioning process (including stakeholder outreach and fundraising strategy) for the desired Plum Island conservation outcome.

“Plum Island is of environmental, historic, and scientific significance-not just to our region but to the world. It is like no other island in our country and must not be lost to the bulldozers of the highest bidding developer,” said Chris Cryder, land campaign manager for CFE/Save the Sound. “Using this visioning plan as a starting point, we hope to develop a blueprint for Plum Island’s dynamic future that permanently preserves the majority of the island for ecological conservation purposes and re-uses the high-tech research center so the facility can continue to host good jobs for Long Island and Connecticut residents.”

“Plum Island offers unique habitat and important refuge for wildlife, and it has all the makings of a first-rate outdoor experience for visitors who in turn will contribute to the local and regional economy,” said Marstel-Day President and CEO, Rebecca R. Rubin. “Ecological preservation of the majority of the island, coupled with a high-quality experience for visitors, is clearly its highest and best use.”


Marstel-Day, LLC is an international environmental consultancy established in 2002 to provide expertise to public and private sector organizations in such areas as climate, habitat conservation, open space planning, and natural resource conservation issues. The company’s value-based environmental consulting approach strives to find common ground among stakeholders across various ecological and social communities, to optimize conservation practices, and to reduce environmental risk to underrepresented and disenfranchised communities domestically and internationally.

Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE) is a non-profit organization with over 4,700 members across the region. The mission of CFE and its bi-state program Save the Sound is to protect and improve the land, air, and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound. They use legal and scientific expertise and bring citizens together to achieve results that benefit the environment for current and future generations.

Rebecca Rubin
CFE/Save the Sound
Melissa Schlag
CFE/Save the Sound
Laura McMillan