Albany, NY (April 07, 2021)— The Open Space Institute (OSI) today lauded Governor Cuomo and the leadership and members of the New York State Legislature for the strong showing of support for protecting the state’s environment and natural resources and enhancing the public’s access to nature in the newly enacted State Budget.
“Over the past year, people from all over the state voted with their feet as they flocked to parks and open space for their physical, mental, and emotional health,” said OSI president and CEO, Kim Elliman. “The new budget appropriately reflects the public’s great appreciation for outdoor spaces and sets the stage for real, long-term advancements to provide clean water, combat climate change, and protect the land and waterways that mark the beauty of New York State.”
With the new budget, leaders and legislators maintained their commitment to the state’s $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The spending plan also provides capital funding for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and $500 million for water infrastructure.
Also included in the final New York 2021-22 state budget is language authorizing a $3 billion Nature Bond Act referendum that will go before the voters in November 2022.
“The Environmental Bond Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve big environmental solutions and improve public access to the outdoors, protect water, fight climate change, mitigate the effects of extreme weather, and save wildlife habitat through smart and effective land conservation,” said Elliman. “We look forward to working with the administration, New Yorkers, and a coalition of other environmental organizations to build support for the Environmental Bond Act and getting it passed next November.”