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The Nature Conservancy Commends Governor Hochul for Historic Funding and Policy Proposals in FY23 Executive Budget Proposal

Environmental proposals would protect clean water, reduce pollution, preserve wildlife habitat, safeguard family farms and reduce harmful flooding

Aerial view of the Cohocton River winding through a green wetland with a blue sky and clouds in background.
Atlanta/Cohocton wetlands Governor Hochul's FY23 Executive Budget proposal would help protect clean water and reduce harmful flooding.  © Mathew Levine

Yesterday, Governor Hochul released her Executive Budget proposal with landmark investments in conservation, clean energy, and water infrastructure.

Her environmental proposals include:

  • $4 billion Environmental Bond Act, the largest measure in New York history
  • $500 million for clean water projects, a continuation of a $4 billion program
  • $500 million for offshore wind manufacturing and supply chain development
  • $400 million for the Environment Protection Fund, a new and historic funding level
  • $200 million for capital projects at New York State Parks
  • $90 million in capital funding for New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Jessica Ottney Mahar, The Nature Conservancy’s New York policy and strategy director said, “Governor Hochul declared a “new era” for New York, and we are thrilled to see that her vision for the future of our state is a sustainable one. From proposing the largest Bond Act in state history and boosting the Environmental Protection Fund to strengthening state wetland protections and building an offshore wind supply chain in New York, the environmental investments proposed are historic, will benefit all New Yorkers, and will create jobs. The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Hochul for proposing landmark commitments to environmental programs that make an impact across New York. We look forward to working with Governor Hochul, State Legislature, and partners to ensure these life-changing investments are included in this year’s final budget.”

The Governor’s proposal includes important wetlands reform. These changes would expand state wetland protections to include an estimated one million additional acres of currently unprotected freshwater wetlands.

Ottney Mahar continued, “The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Hochul for proposing to strengthen state regulations to protect freshwater wetlands. Across New York, wetlands act as a first line of defense against flooding by naturally keeping water away from homes, roads, and businesses. Healthy wetlands also clean water by trapping and filtering contaminants and provide unique habitat to wildlife. We look forward to working with the Governor, State Legislature, and partners to help ensure our wetlands are better protected in this state budget.”

The Governor also proposed improvements to wastewater management in Suffolk County.

Kevin McDonald, The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island policy advisor, said “Clean water is critical to our way of life, our health, and our economy here in Suffolk County. The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Hochul for taking historic steps to protect clean water and reduce sewage pollution in her state budget. Most of our water problems originate with antiquated septic systems and outdated sewage treatment plants. We know there is a better way to manage wastewater in Suffolk County, and the Governor’s proposal enables voters to decide on how best to protect our water resources, which safeguard local recreation, tourism, and our Long Island way of life. We look forward to working with clean water partners, including labor, business, and local government, to establish a clean water restoration fund and bring healthy bays and coasts back to Long Island.”

For information about environmental funding in the state budget, visit cleanwaterandjobs.org.

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s work, visit nature.org/NewYork.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.