State Budget Includes Cash for Long Island Water Quality, Wine, Farms

Greenport. Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS
Greenport. Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

The 2015-2016 New York State budget includes a number of initiatives to advance agri-tourism on Long Island, especially on the East End, and to improve the ecological health of water bodies afflicted with nitrogen pollution.

State Senator Ken LaValle, of Port Jefferson, highlighted a number of budget points that are good news for Long Island.

The Long Island Nitrogen Management and Mitigation Plan includes $5 million for research and planning to address nitrogen loading’s effect on Long Island water bodies.

Statewide, $200 million has been budgeted for the next three years for Environmental Facilities Corp. grants to help municipalities repair and replace wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.

Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission funding has been increased $350,000, bringing the total budget for 2015-2016 up to $1,600,000. The Commission is responsible for the oversight and management of the 105,000-acre Central Pine Barrens.

The budget gives $200,000 to the Peconic Bay Estuary Program, which brings together lawmakers, advocates and scientists to find the best strategies to protect the bays.

The Long Island Farm Bureau, a nonprofit that advocates for the agriculture industry, will receive $100,000 for the Grown on Long Island campaign. The bureau will receive an additional $50,000 to promote tourism, as well the Long Island Wine Council.

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