New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that his 2016-17 executive budget will include a $300-million appropriation for the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The amount is the largest in the history of the fund, which was created in 1993.
The EPF funds land acquisition, farmland protection, waterfront revitalization, municipal recycling, local government assistance to improve wastewater treatment plants, and acquisition, access, and stewardship of public lands, parks and campgrounds.
Adirondack Park advocates Protect the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Council applauded the announcement in statements to the press. The Council called the fund “the most important source of funding for new park lands and campgrounds statewide, as well as for new Forest Preserve in the Adirondack and Catskill parks.”
Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, said “This marks a recognition of the tremendous environmental threats facing New York and the great opportunities to protect open space, improve public recreation on state lands, and combat invasive species.”
“We are very pleased to see that the Governor’s plan will nearly double the size of the Environmental Protection Fund, bringing it up to full funding for the first time in its history,” said the Council’s Executive Director William C. Janeway.