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New York governor allocates $3M for conservation projects

New York governor allocates $3M for conservation projects

By Blake Jackson

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced an allocation of over $3 million towards 64 projects aimed at preserving water quality, preventing farmland conversion, enhancing outdoor recreation access, and conserving open spaces across New York. The funding, facilitated through the Conservation Partnership Program, will benefit 44 non-profit land trusts statewide.

Hochul emphasized the significance of these grants in maintaining the state's natural beauty and bolstering local communities. The additional funding will extend project impacts, promoting public health, tourism, sustainable economic development, and community empowerment.

The grants, supported by the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will leverage an additional $2.5 million from private and local sources. Administered in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Land Trust Alliance manages the Conservation Partnership Program.

Since its inception in 2002, the program has awarded 1,208 grants totaling over $31 million to 94 land trusts, catalyzing an additional $32 million in private and local investments.

DEC's Interim Commissioner, Sean Mahar, highlighted the grants' role in advancing local initiatives for natural resource protection, essential for climate change mitigation and biodiversity preservation. He acknowledged Governor Hochul's leadership in securing vital funding and supporting natural climate solutions critical for achieving the state's climate goals.

The projects encompass various regions and initiatives. For instance, in the Capital Region, grants include transaction support for the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and professional development funding for the Grassland Bird Trust.

Central New York will benefit from professional development support for the Central New York Land Trust, while the Finger Lakes region receives grants for capacity building and transaction support.

In the Mid-Hudson area, grants will enhance the capacity of land trusts like the Hudson Highlands Land Trust and support stewardship and resource management at the Mohonk Preserve. Additionally, the New York City region will see professional development support for the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust and catalyst funding for the Open Space Institute.

State Senator Pete Harckham commended the grants for bolstering local land trusts' efforts to safeguard open spaces and natural resources. Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy emphasized the grants' alignment with New York's commitment to conserving 30% of its land by 2030, addressing biodiversity loss and climate change impacts.

Governor Hochul's administration reaffirms its dedication to environmental conservation, evident through sustained EPF funding and investments in critical environmental programs statewide. The grants underscore New York's commitment to preserving its natural heritage for future generations.

A detailed breakdown of funded projects is available on DEC website.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-zms

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Categories: New York, Government & Policy

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