STRATFORD — The Great Meadows Marsh in Lordship used to be 1,400 acres in size, but now according to officials, only 700 acres remain.

But a $4 million restoration project is expected to restore 33 acres of wetlands, and that could be just the beginning of the marh’s revival.

“It is threatened, it is in danger. We need to preserve it, but more so restore it,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said at an event marking the beginning of a restoration project at the marsh.

Stratford town officials, state representatives, Audubon Connecticut officials and Blumenthal officially announced the project Monday. Government officials stated the project would not only mitigate flooding, but would also combat pollution in the area and provide about a dozen jobs for high school students.

Blumenthal said he is advocating for a total of $106 million to be invested in the Long Island Sound Geographic Program, which would restore and protect the coastal area on a wider scale.

The project will be completed in four phases, with restoration complete by early summer. Audubon is also seeking more funding for added restoration in the future. Kerry Kerrigan, the town’s environmental conservation superintendent, said high school students interested in environmental studies would provide much of the labor force for the restoration.

“The idea is to get students out there who maybe don’t have the time or the financial backing to do it on a volunteer basis,” Kerrigan said. “Instead, we’re able to offer them some compensation for their time as well as some great training.”

Kerrigan said the project would include 12 students plus three crew chiefs. Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, Audubon Connecticut’s director of bird conservation, said the society is in contact with both Stratford and Bunnell high schools and is planning to meet with school officials to go over specifics of student participation. The students could be in the field working by spring.

Funding for the project came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Nature Conservancy, the Robert F. Schumann Foundation, and the Jeniam Foundation.

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