News > News > Water Quality > Riverkeeper opposes Governor’s cuts to clean water and Hudson River funding

Riverkeeper opposes Governor’s cuts to clean water and Hudson River funding

Governor’s initiative to increase swimming requires continued investment in our critical water infrastructure

Riverkeeper has the following reaction to the release of Governor Hochul’s FY2025 Executive Budget. While there are a few bright spots in the Executive Budget presented by the Governor, Riverkeeper has significant concerns about the Governor’s proposed cuts to environmental funding. The following statements can be attributed to Riverkeeper Senior Manager of Government Affairs, Jeremy Cherson.

Clean Water Funding
“We are disappointed to see Governor Hochul propose to halve our nation-leading funding for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act. Since 2017, this popular program has been funded at $500 million a year supporting critical wastewater and drinking water projects that reduce pollution into our waterways and protect drinking water quality. Despite record funding for infrastructure from Washington and Albany in past years, the need for repairs and upgrades is so significant that we have barely made a dent in the statewide needs, which stand at well over $80 billion over the next 20 years. Sustained commitments to the Clean Water Infrastructure Act are needed to leverage the historic opportunities presented by federal infrastructure funding and the Bond Act, and to keep up with the impacts of inflation and supply chain cost increases. As climate change continues to cause unprecedented precipitation, now is not the time to slow down our progress in funding critical infrastructure like our water systems. We urge the Legislature to push back against this cut forcefully and restore funding to at least $500 million annually.”

Environmental Protection Fund and Hudson River Estuary Program
“Riverkeeper opposes the $25 million raid of the Environmental Protection Fund to pay for agency personnel. The EPF was established to fund capital projects. Additionally, we reject the proposed cut of $250,000 to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program, which has seen strong support from the legislature in recent years. The Estuary Program’s $7.5 million budget has supported water quality projects, drinking water source protection projects and local climate risk planning across the Hudson River from NYC to the Mohawk Valley, and has connected thousands of students with the river, helping them gain hands-on skills in science. Projects like the landmark commitment to understanding how sea-level rise will impact Hudson River drinking water intakes or the ability of freshwater tidal wetlands to sequester carbon, will be at risk if this proposed cut is not restored. We call on the legislature to oppose the raid on the EPF and hold the line for the Hudson River Estuary Program and the critical mission they serve.”

“We support the Governor’s initiative, NY SWIMS, to expand swimming access across the state, including bathing beaches in our natural waters. Indeed, existing beaches on the Hudson need investments to continue operation, and many areas of the Hudson River have potential beach sites and community-driven efforts that can benefit from increased resources, public facilities, and training lifeguards. The irony of launching a new initiative to promote safe swimming statewide while cutting clean water infrastructure funding is not lost on us. If we are to reconnect New Yorkers with their waterways directly through swimming, then we must continue to tackle public health threats like sewer overflows that lead to the closure of beaches and prevent the opening of new ones.”



About Riverkeeper
Riverkeeper protects and restores the Hudson River, and safeguards drinking water supplies through community partnerships, science, and law. Our core programs improve water quality, restore habitat for an abundance of life, and address the impact of climate change on our waterways. Founded in 1966 as the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, Riverkeeper became the model for more than 320 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and helped establish globally-recognized standards for waterway and watershed protection. We continue to work toward the goal of a swimmable, fishable, and drinkable Hudson River for all. Learn more, get updates, and support our work by visiting

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