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100+ groups appeal for ‘Restore Mother Nature’ bond act

Riverkeeper joins organizations across New York State urging Gov. Cuomo and Legislature to support a “once in a generation” opportunity to restore habitats and prepare for climate change.

Albany, N.Y. — More than 100 organizations and advocacy groups from across New York State today announced their support for an Environmental Bond Act, proposed in the Executive Budget, and are urging the Governor and legislation to take advantage of this “once in a generation opportunity” by passing legislation giving voters the chance to approve such a measure on the November 2020 ballot. The environmental bond act represents a major investment in flooding and pollution prevention projects that will simultaneously reduce the impacts of climate change on New York communities.

[Read the letter here.]

The coalition of supporters for the Bond Act is as diverse as it is broad, including Riverkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, Scenic Hudson, Rebuild by Design, New York Building Congress, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, New York League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Associated General Contractors of NYS, the Waterfront Alliance and more. A full list of the organizations publicly calling for passage of the environmental bond act can be found below.

“An environmental bond act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore New York’s water, air, wildlife, and natural areas while helping communities prepare for climate change,” said Riverkeeper Legislative Advocacy Manager Jeremy Cherson. “After approving nation-leading commitments last year to clean water and climate action, the New York State Legislature can lead once again by approving a bond act and allowing New Yorkers an opportunity to vote for this critical investment in clean air and water for generations to come.”

“Climate change is already here, but this is the first environmental bond act in a quarter century. Governor Cuomo and the legislature must take immediate and powerful action – before it’s too late,” said Jessica Ottney Mahar, New York Policy Director for The Nature Conservancy. “This is the work our children and grandchildren are depending on us to do – safeguarding the environment and taking steps today to prevent catastrophic flooding and damages in the future.”

A January poll from Siena College found that more than 70 percent of New Yorkers would support a bond act to restore habitats and reduce flooding. Once approved by the Legislature, the Environmental Bond Act will appear on voters’ ballots in the fall for final approval.

The funding will support both efforts to restore natural flooding defenses and habitats, and investment in outdated infrastructure, including road and stream crossings. For example, under New York roadways are more than one million culverts, which channel water and fish below the road. Many are too small and end up causing flooding or road damage during storms, which the Bond Act will enable local governments to correct. Other projects will restore streams, wetlands, floodplains, and shorelines to reduce flooding and improve water quality; help farmers reduce their pollution; and create new outdoor recreational activities that will drive economic activity across the state.

The organizations participating include:

Adirondack Council
Adirondack Land Trust
Adirondack Mountain Club
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
Agricultural Stewardship Association
Alliance for the Great Lakes
American Farmland Trust
American Littoral Society
Associated General Contractors of NYS
Audubon New York
Battenkill Conservancy
Big Reuse
Bronx River Alliance Greenway Team
Bronx River Sound Shore Audubon Society
Brooklyn Bird Club
Buffalo Audubon Society
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper
Capital Roots
Carbon Cycle Institute
Catskill Center
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Central Westchester Audubon Society
Church Women United in New York State
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Citizens’ Climate Lobby – New York
Citizens’ Climate Lobby – Southern Finger Lakes Chapter
Coalition to Protect New York
Columbia Land Conservancy
Construction Industry Council
CPYN
EcoPlum
Environmental Advocates of New York – Peter Iwanowicz
Essex Farm Institute
Finger Lakes Land Trust
Four Harbors Audubon Society
Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center
Genesee Valley Conservancy, Inc.
Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Grassroots Environmental Education
Green Ossining
HRP Green
Hudson Highlands Land Trust
Hudson River Audubon Society
Hudson River Boat & Yacht Club Association
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc.
Indian River Lakes Conservancy
Kingston Land Trust
Lake George Land Conservancy
Land Trust Alliance
Long Island Builders Institute
Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Natural Resources Defense Council
Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church
New York Building Congress
New York City Audubon
New York Climate Reality Chapters Coalition
New York League of Conservation Voters
New York Restoration Project (NYRP)
Newtown Creek Alliance
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
North Fork Audubon Society
North Fork Environmental Council
North Shore Audubon Society
Northeast Organic Farming Association — New York (NOFA-NY)
Northern New York Audubon
Open Space Institute
Orange County Audubon Society
Orange County Land Trust
Parks and Trails New York
Peconic Baykeeper
Peconic Land Trust
Protect the Adirondacks!
Putnam Highlands Audubon Sanctuary
Rebuild by Design
Regional Plan Association
Rensselaer Land Trust
Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
Riverkeeper
Rockland County Solid Waste Authority
Rockland Farm Alliance
Roe Jan Watershed Community
Save The River Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper
Save The Sound
Saw Kill Watershed Community
Saw Mill River Audubon
Scenic Hudson
Seneca Lake Guardian
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter
Sierra Club Niagara Group
South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)
South Shore Audubon Society
Sustainable Saratoga
Sustainable Tompkins, Inc.
SWIM Coalition
Taking Care Farm LLC
The Boatbuilders
The Heights Urban Empowerment, Inc.
The Nature Conservancy
The North Shore Land Alliance, Inc.
The Trust for Public Land
Upper Green Side
Wallkill River Watershed Alliance
Waterfront Alliance
WESPAC
Western New York Land Conservancy
Wildlife Conservation Society
Woodstock Land Conservancy

Media contacts:

Sheila Webb-Halpern, (518) 690-7846, sheila.webb-halpern@tnc.org
Cliff Weathers, (914) 478-4501 ext. 239, cweathers@riverkeeper.org
Leah Rae, (914) 478-4501 ext. 238, lrae@riverkeeper.org

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