The Nature Conservancy Commends Executive Budget Proposals That Will Improve Water Quality, Create Jobs, and Mitigate Climate Change

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal includes
significant funding to protect clean water and healthy forests

Albany, NY | January 16, 2018

In his Executive Budget address today, Governor Cuomo proposed critical investments in New York’s environment, including the continuation of a $2.5 billion program to improve water quality; a third $300 million annual appropriation for the Environmental Protection Fund; and a continuation of capital projects that will enhance public access to the outdoors at facilities owned by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and at New York State Parks.

He also proposed reforms to tax incentives for private forest owners to maintain and sustainably manage their forest lands, which would help mitigate climate change, strengthen New York’s timber industry, and conserve valuable natural resources.

Jessica Ottney Mahar, New York policy director for The Nature Conservancy said, “Proposals outlined today in Governor Cuomo’s budget address demonstrate a commitment to a healthy environment and a strong economy. We applaud the Governor for advancing an environmental agenda that will benefit New Yorkers with cleaner water, cleaner air, and greater access to nature. We are thrilled to see Governor Cuomo propose reforms to the state’s Forest Tax Abatement Program, which will mitigate climate change, protect forests and wildlife, encourage sustainable management practices, and support the state’s sustainable timber industry.

We also commend the Governor for proposing a third year of record funding for the Environmental Protection Fund and continuing to invest in protecting and improving clean water across the state. The $2.5 billion clean water fund created in last year’s budget is a proactive and cost-effective way to secure clean drinking water for our communities – a key means to protect public health and strengthen our economy.

We look forward seeing the budget documents to learn more specifics about the proposals outlined by the Governor today, and to working with Governor Cuomo, the New York State Senate, the New York State Assembly, and partners to ensure that these critical investments are included in this year’s final budget.

To learn more about the Conservancy’s work, visit


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 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Sheila Webb-Halpern
Policy & Communications Advisor
(518) 690-7846


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