Spring is here and we are excited for the return of many migratory species. Colorful warblers will soon reappear – birdwatchers rejoice! Shorebirds, such as the Piping Plover, will also be returning to breed and nest along the shores of Long Island.
The Long Island Sound is a globally significant ecosystem for birds, fish, and other wildlife, and in the face of federal budget cuts many bird species that rely on this habitat are threatened. On March 29th, I traveled to Washington, DC to testify to members of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife in support of Senate bill 675, the “Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act” sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. This legislation is critical to protecting the Sound, which provides some of the best bird habitat on Earth. The EPW approved the measure two weeks after the hearing.
This week, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature came to a final agreement on the 2017-18 state budget. The budget includes critical investments in New York’s environment, including $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, which maintains last year’s historic level of funding, $2.5 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and continued capital investments in New York’s State parks and conservation lands with new capital funding to build the nation’s longest multi-use trail, the 750-mile Empire State Trail.
Audubon New York applauds Governor Cuomo and our legislative leaders for their demonstrated commitment to protecting and restoring New York’s environment for the birds, people, and communities of New York.
We are currently working to make the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center (TRSAC) in Oyster Bay a state-of-the-art facility. We will offer the community more opportunities to enjoy the wonders of nature, learn about the importance of the Long Island ecosystem to birds of the Atlantic Flyway, engage in the protection of Long Island, and offer innovative environmental education programs for all ages.
Thank you for your continued engagement in our work. See more spring updates from our statewide network below.
Erin M. Crotty