New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo established the Cleaner, Greener New York Program in 2011 to empower regions to create more sustainable communities by funding smart development practices. Nearly $1 million in grant funding was awarded to the Finger Lakes Region to develop a stakeholder-driven sustainability plan for the region as defined by the Regional Economic Development Council, which encompasses Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, and Yates Counties.
The first round of public meetings regarding the Finger Lakes Sustainability Plan have been scheduled. One meeting is on Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 6-8 p.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. For other locations and times of first round meetings, please see the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan website, http://sustainable-fingerlakes.org/
The Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan will outline tangible actions for improving the long-term sustainability of communities and natural resources. Specifically, this plan will identify
- current greenhouse gas emissions and energy use along with available natural resources and economic assets, liabilities and opportunities;
- strategies for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy improvement, and the deployment of renewable energy sources;
- long-term and short-term sustainability goals for energy supply, transportation, water management, waste management, land use, open space, agriculture, housing and economic development; and
- actions to achieve these goals and barriers to implementation.
Ultimately, the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan will be used to compete for funding in Phase II of the Cleaner, Greener NY program, which will provide up to $90 million in funding to support regional sustainability goals identified during the planning process. Phase II will launch in 2013.
All those interested in the future of the Finger Lakes region are strongly encouraged to attend.