October 2, 2023

During Climate Week, Governor Hochul Announces Opening of Environmental Education and Resiliency Center at Hempstead Lake State Park

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I fought hard to secure billions of dollars in federal investment for green, resilient infrastructure throughout New York, including $125 million dedicated to Mill River Watershed flood prevention efforts. This Environmental Education and Resiliency Center is just one of many critical projects this money has funded not just in Hempstead Lake State Park but across southwest Nassau County to protect against storm surge, improve water quality, restore natural habitats, and better our understanding of the challenges our communities face in a changing climate.”

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice said, “I’m very excited for the opening of the Environmental Education and Resiliency Center at Hempstead Lake State Park, which will serve as a space for local outreach and educational programs, as well as an emergency coordination center during storms and other natural disasters. Minority communities are too often ignored in the climate change discussion, and I’m hopeful this new center will help change that. As we continue to see stronger storms, flooding, and other consequences of climate change here on Long Island, I will keep fighting for federal funding in Congress to improve our resiliency and disaster response capabilities.”

Senator Kevin Thomas said, “Environmental education keeps our natural world healthy, our economy productive, and our communities vibrant. The new Environmental Education and Resiliency Center at Hempstead Lake State Park will foster environmental understanding, appreciation, and engagement in the community for generations to come. I want to thank the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery for their ongoing efforts to protect our valuable natural resources, and to improve residents’ quality of life.”

Assemblymember Taylor Darling said, “I am elated that the Environmental Education and Resiliency Center at Hempstead Lake State Park is opening!!! This is phenomenal news. This center will bring so many learning opportunities to our children of all ages and eventually reduce flooding and improve the water quality along Mill River Corridor.  This is an incredible answer to our enormous environmental needs. Hempstead Lake State Park continues to be a refuge to wildlife and a serene setting for our relaxation and/or physical activity.  The community is so excited about the renovation to the tennis court complex. These enormous improvements will encourage even better adventures for years to come. I would like to thank everyone who made these advancements possible, especially our Parks Department (you all rock!).  This is a great accomplishment for all involved!!”

Assemblymember Judy Griffin said, “With the recent storm surges, we have all witnessed the detrimental impact of climate change on Long Island. Therefore it is vital that New York State continue leading the way in taking decisive action in a multi-pronged approach. This new Environmental Education and Resiliency Center at Hempstead Lake State is a huge step forward in teaching our community about storm resiliency and the impacts of climate change and I am proud to have this in the center of our district. I applaud Governor Hochul for seeing this major environmental project to fruition as it is extremely beneficial to our area.”

County Executive Laura Curran said, “It’s a great day for Nassau County. In addition to the new resiliency, water quality and habitat improvements ongoing at Hempstead Lake State Park, this new facility will serve as an educational community hub that Nassau County PD will utilize for outreach and mentorship programs for young people from under-served neighborhoods. Nassau County will continue to work in partnership with the State to engage local communities regarding environmental protection and ensure Long Island remains safe, beautiful, and habitable for generations to come.”

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. With the Climate Act as its guide, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.