Long Island Regional Coalition Receives $800,000 for Cleaner, Greener Communities Regional Sustainability Planning
A coalition of Long Island counties, towns and organizations has received $800,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to create a comprehensive smart growth plan for regional sustainability. This plan is part of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, a major environmental initiative announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last year.
The Long Island Green Homes Consortium, including the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Huntington, Islip, North Hempstead, Riverhead, Smithtown, and Southampton; the Villages of Port Jefferson and the City of Glen Cove; and other interested communities and organizations will develop a smart growth plan that encompasses the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) area. The Town of North Hempstead will lead the planning process for the region.
“The Long Island region is pleased to receive an award of a Cleaner, Greener Sustainable Communities grant to further collaborative efforts among a strong team of municipal and not-for-profit partners to promote sustainability,” said Regional Council co-chair Stuart Rabinowitz.
“This Regional Coalition will build on the work begun by the Long Island Regional Planning Council in its 2035 Sustainability Plan in further developing specific initiatives that Long Island can implement to achieve our sustainability goals,” said Regional Council co-chair Kevin Law.
The development of a comprehensive regional sustainability plan is the first phase of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program and is intended to provide resources that each New York region can use to develop its own vision, goals and objectives for a sustainable future, identify actions needed to achieve that future and outline metrics to measure success. Only one award was made in each region of the state.
“This funding is an excellent opportunity for the Long Island Region to develop a plan that improves environmental quality by reducing air, water and land pollution and improves quality of life through smart growth and sustainable development,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, all New Yorkers will benefit, as the regional plans will examine each region’s available resources and provide a specific vision to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
“New York State under Governor Andrew Cuomo is once again at the forefront of providing historic leadership through his effort to bring municipal government, environmental organizations and our local communities together to achieve sustainable and greener solutions for our region. North Hempstead is proud to lead this effort on Long Island,” said North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman.
“I'd like to thank Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for recognizing this groundbreaking energy efficiency approach,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “At a time when energy costs continue to sky-rocket, these funds could not come at a more critical time for Long Island, as long-term sustainability planning holds the key to Long Island's future economic vitality. This initiative builds on the success of the Town of Babylon's Green Homes Program, the Long Island Green Homes Consortium and other efforts to secure the long-term sustainability and the economic and environmental health of our region. Suffolk County is proud to join in this regional effort to ensure there is a coordinated and collaborative plan for our region.”
Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko said, “As a Climate Smart Community, the Town is looking forward to working with other municipalities on Long Island to develop a Regional Sustainability Plan. I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the Cleaner, Greener Communities program and for his pledge to provide the resources to help us continue to create and implement clean energy programs on Long Island."
“Huntington takes pride in its sustainability initiatives, which have saved taxpayers money, helped make the Town greener and earned the Town national recognition in being invited to be part of the federal government’s Better Buildings Energy Challenge. At the same time, we understand that achieving true sustainability must involve regional solutions. We eagerly look forward to active participation in the Long Island Green Homes Consortium’s effort to create a regional sustainable growth strategy as part of Governor Cuomo’s Cleaner, Greener Communities program,” said Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone.
Riverhead Town Supervisor, Sean M. Walter, said, “Here on Long Island, our environment is our economy, and so smart business and growth strategies must always include wise sustainability practices.” Supervisor Walter continued, “We, in Riverhead, are pleased to work with Governor Cuomo and every layer of government to create a model that will trace out the path towards a sustainable future.”
“The Town of Southampton is pleased to have been part of this application and to contribute on a regional level to the pursuit of integrating sustainable practices in government. We have already experienced the positive results of this focus at the local level through the creation of a citizens’ advisory Green Committee and an Office of Energy and Sustainability, which has led to the implementation of many positive initiatives. We look forwarding to sharing the knowledge we have gained and to planning for additional programs that will benefit both our environment and our economy,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.
“This initiative draws on the success of the Long Island Green Homes Consortium and other concurrent efforts throughout Long Island to ensure a healthy future for ourselves and our environment,” said Marianne Garvin, President and CEO of Community Development Corporation of Long Island. “CDC is proud to join the effort led by the Town of North Hempstead to ensure there is a coordinated, viable and high impact Sustainability Plan for our region in place by 2013.”
“By utilizing the triple bottom line of sustainability as the yardstick for evaluating what is included in the Regional Sustainability Plan, the Cleaner, Greener Communities program presents an exciting opportunity to build broad-based support not for the quick fix of boom and bust type development, but instead for forward thinking, long-term, sustainable economic development that creates good quality jobs while protecting environmental resources," said Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College.
“As our local communities shape their future growth, there is much value in coordinating our land use, transportation, infrastructure and energy policies in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Kudos to NYSERDA for not just providing resources for planning but funding the implementation in future phases," said Eric Alexander, Executive Director, Vision Long Island.
Once the plan is developed, additional funding will be available from the Cleaner, Greener Communities program on a competitive basis to implement projects that support the goals of the plans. Projects must create opportunities for achieving carbon reductions, energy efficiency savings and/or renewable energy deployment while enhancing job creation, economic investment and development consistent with the region’s sustainability and REDC strategic plan.
For further information on the Long Island sustainability growth planning process, please contact Fran Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rosemary Olsen at email@example.com