The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released over $1.35 million in grant funds to six land trusts, reinforcing the state’s commitment to curbing climate change impacts and conserving open spaces.
Commissioner Basil Seggos underscored the importance of these grants, highlighting how they’d ensure the sustained health of local forests, thereby mitigating stormwater, regulating temperatures, and enhancing carbon sequestration. He emphasized that these measures are integral in the state’s fight against the changing climate and its consequences.
Land trusts, such as the Adirondack Land Trust and Western New York Land Conservancy, will utilize these funds to secure conservation easements on forests in various counties, providing vital habitats, recreational opportunities, and natural buffers against climate change impacts. Projects supported by this grant range from preserving 500 acres in the Adirondack Park to securing tracts that are part of the crucial Western New York Wildway initiative. Funding for this initiative is sourced from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which Governor Kathy Hochul has sustained at a record $400 million in the 2023-24 State Budget. The EPF continues to support key environmental endeavors, including invasive species control, water quality enhancement, and farmland conservation.
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