Renewable energy. Protected drinking water. Expanded parks. And a more environmentally sustainable region.
These are just some of the priorities of the New York League of Conservation Voters and the NYLCV Education Fund.
The organization released its policy agenda Wednesday, acknowledging that the region has made recent “substantial progress” towards a greener future.
Still, the organization said, there is more work to do, and it aims to collaborate with both local and state elected officials in this effort.
“The policies we put forth in our 2023 agenda are crucial to reducing Long Island’s carbon footprint and necessary if the state is to achieve its nation-leading climate goals,” Julie Tighe, the organization’s president, said in a statement.
“Furthermore, these efforts must prioritize environmental justice and consider the impacts of our actions on marginalized communities,” Tighe said. “Our clean energy future must be equitable and benefit all New Yorkers.”
Here is an overview of this year’s priorities:
Move Long Island towns, cities, and counties up the ladder of certification in the Climate Smart Communities program by committing to more local greenhouse gas-reducing actions.
Create more offshore wind projects on Long Island; increase the pace of siting, permitting, and constructing battery storage; expand LIPA’s renewable energy programs; remove municipal barriers to installing solar energy projects; and require green building standards, including zero-emission heating systems, for all new residential and commercial construction.
Alleviate EV range anxiety by passing laws that require all municipal garages and parking lots to include EV charging stations and undertake projects to encourage the use of public transportation and other alternatives to driving.
Take steps to protect Long Island’s sole-source aquifer by enacting policies to reduce reliance on septic systems; encourage the continued implementation of the Long Island Sound, Peconic, and South Shore Estuary Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans; and push local municipalities to implement eel grass natural buffers along the coast.
Advocate for budget allocations and policies from municipalities and county legislatures to expand regional recycling facilities and other measures to put Long Island on a more sustainable path when it comes to waste management.
Advocate to make Plum Island a National Monument, support expansion opportunities of the Pine Barrens in an organized and sustainable fashion, and promote investments that protect parks and green spaces.