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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Lawmakers from New York and Connecticut have joined environmental groups in ramping up efforts to block the federal government from selling a mysterious piece of land in Long Island Sound that for years housed an animal disease research facility.

The lawmakers penned a letter this week asking Congress not to provide funding for the marketing or sale of Plum Island. The island is also home to endangered birds, turtles and other animals.

The federal General Service Administration is charged with selling the island to help fund a new bio-research center in Kansas. It's agreed to postpone the sale until it conducts a second environmental impact study.

The Preserve Plum Island Coalition, which includes more than 100 groups, says it will bring stakeholders together later this year to come up with an alternative conservation plan.

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