Earth Day Is Not Just One Day

Happy Earth Day! I always love this time of year: the weather is starting to get nicer; the days are longer and after two years of Covid-19 challenges we are breaking out and able to celebrate Spring in a big way. To me, Earth Day symbolizes the clear fact that Spring is here (and summer is not too far off) and is a reminder of how precious the environment is and how we need to take care of it.

I take environmental issues very seriously, look where we live! As your voice in Albany, I am proud to be a prime co-sponsor on several pieces of legislation that impact this community. In fact, there are two new bills that I am happy to be working on, one covering recycling and the other focusing on Jamaica Bay. With this new type of recycling (A9495), we as a State must promote and legalize the heating technology to make traditionally non-recyclable plastics recyclable. This would open a whole new door and allow us to recycle plastic items like laundry detergent bottles, single use plastic for food and plastic toys. This would help our State continue to lead in the fight against climate change in an unprecedented way - and I am proud to be co-sponsoring this bill and working to further advance it. Further, I will be introducing a new bill that will fully eliminate contaminants from being added to borrow pits during dredging in Jamaica Bay. Under the current statute there is an allowed “safe” level of contaminants to be added and buried in borrow pits, which occur when we move the sand from its original location to another. I am standing up and saying no, no more! I will be working with my Senate counterpart to make it clear, once and for all, that we will not allow contaminants to be added to our Bay.

In addition, in this year's budget we provided a historic commitment for the environment with a $4.2 billion dollar investment in the Environmental Bond Act and $1.1 billion of that to go towards flood risk measures. There will be $650 million allocated for land conservation and recreation, and water quality improvement projects and infrastructure. Getting this money to help our environment is a critical step, and one that I will continue to take every day.

For Jamaica Bay specifically, there will be over $1.5 million for waterfront access improvement projects, which along with the recent additional funds secured through the amazing partnership with our federal counterparts, will have a tremendous impact. It is crucial that we advocate and continue to work for the Bay’s preservation. During one of my volunteer cleanups earlier this year we collected over 800 lbs. of garbage, yet there is still plenty of refuge left and more to be done. These investments will prioritize the Bay all while setting up protections not just for now but for the future generations by ensuring that the Bay and our environment continue to flourish.

Every day I am grateful for our environment, but on Earth Day we can show a little extra love by picking up a piece of trash, remembering to recycle or just riding our bikes. As I go forward, I will continue to keep you all apprised of the developments and work being done. As always, do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at 718-945-9550 or by email at It is a pleasure to serve you and I look forward to representing you for many more years to come.