New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that officials from local, state, and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, scientists, and other stakeholders gathered to mark the 30th anniversaries of DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program and the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program, as well as the 35th anniversary of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The three anniversaries were recognized at the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve Conference in New York City.
During the conference, State of the Estuary: Looking Back, Moving Forward, the federal/bi-state NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program released its draft Action Agenda for 2017-2022, available here, for public comment. The agenda, developed by representatives of federal, state, and local government; civic and environmental organizations; and the scientific community, identifies 35 proposed actions to continue progress towards cleaner water, restored fish and wildlife habitat, improved public access, and more efficient support of maritime activities.
The conference focused on actions needed to improve the health of the estuary, reflecting on past successes and upcoming challenges. Topics included investments in water quality, river access, and habitat conservation, as well as exploring the links between estuary health and community well-being.
The conference was organized by DEC‘s Hudson River Estuary Program and the NY-NJ Harbor and Estuary Program with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. It was hosted by the New York University Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, at the New York University School of Law.
Speakers included DEC Deputy Commissioner of Water Resources Jim Tierney; Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of the City of Hoboken; Javier Laureano, Director, EPA Clean Water Division; Angela Licata, Assistant Commissioner, New York City Department of Environmental Protection; Dan Kennedy, Assistant Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and The conference agenda is available on the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary website.
The Hudson River Estuary Program’s 2015-2020 Action Agenda, released in 2015 and available on DEC’s website, is a blueprint to achieve six key benefits: clean water; resilient communities; a vital estuarine ecosystem; conservation of its fish, wildlife, and habitats; preservation of the region’s natural scenery; and enhanced opportunities for education, river access, recreation and inspiration. Implementation of the Action Agenda relies on partnerships with federal and state agencies, as well as municipalities, academic and scientific institutions, businesses, and citizens.
Comments on the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program’s draft Action Agenda are due July 14, 2017 to HEPAgenda2017@hudsonriver.org. The final agenda will be released in 2018.