The Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart and William Smith and FLI Director Lisa Cleckner will welcome New York Sen. Pam Helming (R-Canandaigua), New York State Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R-Macedon) and President of the Seneca County Farm Bureau Ann Marie Heizmann for a press conference highlighting funding in the New York State 2017-18 budget designated for water infrastructure and water protection, including in the Finger Lakes. Cleckner will also offer remarks.
The event will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 in the Seneca Room at HWS at 603 South Main St. The event is open to the public.
The budget makes an unprecedented investment of $2.5 billion to ensure access to clean, safe drinking water, while addressing water quality issues and infrastructure needs statewide. Helming backed the inclusion of funding in the State Budget for source water protection under the newly enacted Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.
“New York is rich in water resources and I applaud the state’s investment in infrastructure and programs to support better water quality. In the Finger Lakes, our water resources are the lifeblood of our regional economy. It is essential that we address land use and water management issues in an integrated fashion to ensure that pollution entering our waters from land-based sources are reduced,” says Cleckner.
The budget includes $110 million to fund a proactive approach to preserving sources of drinking water. This funding can be used for the voluntary conservation of small, strategic areas that directly impact drinking water sources, such as lakes and watersheds. These buffer areas will protect against pollutants and provide natural filtration for water.
FLI is dedicated to the promotion of environmental research and education about the Finger Lakes and surrounding environments. In collaboration with regional environmental partners and state and local government offices, FLI fosters environmentally-sound development practices throughout the region, and disseminates accumulated knowledge to the public.
The Colleges have a longstanding tradition as an environmental leader, including the recent designation as a STARS Silver Institution, an international rating awarded by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education; recently achieving LEED Gold for the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts; and being named a named a Tree Campus USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation for the fifth consecutive year.