Saving Plum Island

An interactive video player by the Visionaries

Who We Are


The Preserve Plum Island Coalition, comprised of 67 organizations and individuals from the region, is fighting to protect the wildlife and unique habitats of Plum Island from being sold by the federal government to the highest bidder.


Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, coordinates the Coalition and leads the legal battle to save the island.

About this Film


Plum Island, in eastern Long Island Sound, is a refuge for some of our region's most at-risk wildlife, but it is also home to a national research center that is slated to close. Instead of protecting the wildlands of the island, the federal government is trying to auction it to the highest bidder. This could mean that the island's unique habitats, plants, and animals could be lost forever to a developer's bulldozer. In this documentary by Visionaries, you will see why Plum Island is so important, and how a remarkable coalition of organizations and people have come together to save it.

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Plum Island, NY, is a gem. Hundreds of birds and seals call the island home. Sea turtles, whales, and large numbers of fish live in its surrounding waters. The good news is that we, the people, already own this island. The bad news is the federal government plans to sell the island to the highest bidder.

But there is hope.


Take a boat tour of Plum Island with Bob Czepiel...

...see it from the air with Chris Cryder.

A passionate group of 69 organizations and thousands of individuals have formed the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, which is fighting hard to save Plum Island. Local and state legislators in New York have joined together to unanimously call for the island’s protection.

MaryEllen Mateleska talks about the power of coalition building.

Long Island legislator Al Krupski discusses local concerns and action.

Plum Island is part of a chain of islands which includes Great Gull and Little Gull islands. Together, they form an Important Bird Area complex. The thousands of terns living here tell the story of how these islands are interconnected.

Patrick Comins talks about Plum Island's birds and wildlife.

The Department of Homeland Security will close the Plum Island Animal Disease Center when it opens a new facility in Kansas. Meanwhile, in a misguided interpretation of the law, the agency is moving forward to sell Plum Island at auction—without considering its conservation value or the people’s voice.

Curt Johnson explains the irony of the government's actions.

Leah Schmalz makes clear the government's flawed interpretation of the law.

Plum Island has an amazing history. From its use by Native Americans and its role in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, to historic Fort Terry and today’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the island is unlike any other in the world.

Hear Amy Folk's full story of Plum Island's history.

The public has spoken and many state and federal agencies agree. The message is clear: WE own Plum Island, and WE want Plum Island to remain in the public trust.

YOU can take action! Sign the petition, or make and share your own video.