ALBANY, NY (January 10, 2023) – In today's State of the State address, Governor Kathy Hochul announced several proposals that will benefit birds, other wildlife, and people:
Funding Clean Water Infrastructure. New York State’s investments in clean water infrastructure have provided significant and needed funding that improves our wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. Providing an additional $500 million in funding for water quality and clean water infrastructure and creating Community Assistance Teams to assist with outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities will help ensure that birds and people have access to clean drinking water.
Making Our Parks Energy-Independent. Leading by example, the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will power all of its facilities with renewable energy by 2030. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to birds, and now our parks will help them twofold by reducing their emissions and continuing to provide critical habitat.
Acting on Climate. 50% of bird species are predicted to be either “climate-threatened” or “climate endangered” by 2080, including at least 50 species in NYS. We can help fight climate change and support a responsible clean energy transition by continuing to electrify our economy and developing an aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions.
Reduce Plastic Waste. Plastics have become an abundant pollutant in our oceans and pose a major threat to marine and coastal wildlife. Establishing an Extended Producer Responsibility program in New York State and shifting the cost of recycling from taxpayers to producers is a smart solution that will reduce plastic waste and its impacts on the environment while also relieving financial pressure on local governments.
In response, Erin McGrath, Senior Policy Manager for Audubon New York, issued the following statement:
"Audubon and other leaders in the science and conservation space agree that in order to help prevent species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change, we must reduce carbon pollution as quickly as possible. We are pleased to see that the Governor has continued her commitment to addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions in each sector of the economy and are looking forward to reviewing her Executive Budget proposal and working with the Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSERDA. Equally important are her proposals to reduce plastic waste and increase funding for clean water infrastructure, which will help to preserve the landscapes and natural resources that birds and people rely on."
About Audubon New York
Audubon New York, a state program of the National Audubon Society, protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.ny.audubon.org.
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