On Nov. 8, New York voters will have the opportunity to vote on the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act. Passing of the proposition would authorize $4.2 billion in state spending to safeguard clean air and water, preserve natural space, and update water infrastructure with a focus on protections from climate change.
This proposal marks the first time since 1996 that New Yorkers will have the opportunity to decide at the ballot box to address concerns dealing with the environment, climate change, and conservation. The 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act won approval with a 55% endorsement providing $1.75 billion that allocated funding to open space preservation, land acquisition, and conservation easements. Of that, nearly $2.5 million was directed to Upper Saranac Lake to acquire 776 acres of property including three miles of shoreline along Middle and Upper Saranac lakes. The state also allocated $15 million for dams that included reconstruction projects in Minerva and Wells.
If voters approve this year’s Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act, funding would protect Adirondack communities facing climate change and associated severe weather events. The Bond Act includes funding for flood risk reduction and shoreline protection, which could potentially benefit waterfront shorelines and have a positive impact on the Upper Saranac watershed.
The Bond would also provide millions for water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure that would assist in the repair of dams throughout the Adirondacks. The Upper Saranac Foundation has already begun discussions with state officials to try to influence funding toward assisting with needed repairs to the Bartlett Carry Dam.