The Nature Conservancy Commends Inclusion of Environmental Bond Act in NY State Budget
Further environmental progress will be supported by hundreds of millions for Environmental Protection Fund and Clean Water Infrastructure Act.
Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have reauthorized the Environmental Bond Act, as part of the 2021-2022 state budget, which will provide $3 billion to reduce pollution, upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure, preserve farmland and open space, and help communities prepare for flooding, rising seas, and extreme heat. The Bond Act will now go to voters for approval on the November 2022 ballot. The budget also included $500 million for clean water infrastructure projects; $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund; and $440 million for capital projects that will enhance public access to New York State Parks, historic sites, and facilities owned by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
Jessica Ottney Mahar, The Nature Conservancy’s New York policy and strategy director released the following statement:
“We are thrilled Governor Cuomo and the New York Legislature has put the Environmental Bond Act back on the ballot. Now voters will have the chance to vote yes for clean water and jobs on the November 2022 ballot. Environmental investments are essential to creating a safer and more prosperous future. The Bond Act will support 65,000 good-paying jobs, safeguard clean water, improve parks, conserve wildlife habitat, and protect New Yorkers from the damaging effects of climate change.
“The Nature Conservancy applauds lawmakers for an additional $500 million for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, growing the fund to $4 billion to help communities modernize wastewater infrastructure and protect clean drinking water. In every corner of the state, our water infrastructure is old and failing; the total need is estimated to be $80 billion over the next two decades.
“Continuing to dedicate $300 million to the Environmental Protection Fund for a sixth year demonstrates that New York lawmakers recognize that environmental protection is a cornerstone of a strong economy. We all need what environmental programs help provide: clean air and water, local farms, and safe parks. By investing in conservation and clean energy, New York supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduces harmful pollution, protects family farms, and connects millions of New Yorkers to the great outdoors.
“Importantly, these investments will help municipalities leverage federal, local, and private funds to address critical, local needs.”
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.