Culvert photo in New York
Culvert Roaring Brook runs through a culvert under a roadway. © Erika Bailey/TNC

Stories in New York

Creating the Future We Want

Environmental funding can be a key driving force in New York’s recovery, helping us secure a more prosperous future

This page was updated on October 23, 2020.


Since the environmental movement began, The Nature Conservancy in New York has been at the forefront. Today, we work closely with lawmakers and advocates to help secure major policy victories from protecting clean water to reducing harmful pollution in our air, water, and atmosphere.

It hasn’t been an easy year, and we’re facing an uphill battle in 2021. Along with much of the nation, New York is battling an ongoing pandemic, a fiscal emergency, and an escalating climate crisis. But that doesn’t mean we need to lose hope. There’s a way forward. Environmental programs create thousands of jobs and support industries that add $40 billion to our economy every year. They can be a key driving force in New York’s recovery, just as they have in the past.

As COVID-19 has once again made clear, we all need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and time spent in nature. Each is vital to public health and quality of life. We also need good-paying jobs all over the state, strong local economies, and protection from a changing climate. New York’s environmental programs provide all that and more.

This year, we saw devastating wildfires and dozens of hurricanes. Here in New York, our risks are growing, too. Millions of New Yorkers are increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels and fatal heat waves. Our farmers face long droughts and our winter sports have shorter and shorter seasons. We cannot afford to slow the state’s work fighting climate change. Right now, we have a chance to turn this crisis into an opportunity and build a more prosperous future.

We can make electricity from the sun and the wind and put people back to work in good-paying jobs. We can have clean air and water and beautiful parks for everyone to enjoy. We can have safe roads, modern infrastructure, clean lakes and rivers, and plentiful habitat for wildlife. We can have a vibrant and prosperous future.

But that future depends on environmental funding. It depends on New York State continuing to invest in programs like the Environmental Protection Fund, the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, Parks 2020, DEC NY Works Program, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Program. Each of these programs creates thousands of jobs, protects natural resources, and supports multi-billion-dollar industries including construction, agriculture, outdoor recreation, fishing, and tourism across the state. To learn more about these programs, read a letter 176 organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, sent to New York State leaders.

Want to help us secure a vibrant future for New York? Here’s three things you can do:

  • Speak Up for Nature: Environmental funding is critical to the health, safety, and prosperity of all New Yorkers. Talk to your family and friends, reach out to lawmakers, vote, and tweet. Help us spread that word that the future we want depends on environmental investments.
  • Sign up for our newsletter here or share it with family and friends.
  • Donate to our work via the link below.
Thank you for your ongoing support and all you do for people and nature!