Environment New York
Contact: Sarah Vitti, 203-219-1654, [email protected]
New York, NY – More than 52 million people each year visit waterways like the Long Island Sound and Niagara Falls, according to a new Summer Fun Index by Environment New York. The new fact sheet comes as summer draws to a close, and as officials consider a new rule to restore protections for more than 55 percent of the state’s rivers and streams.
“We all know clean water means summer fun. There’s nothing quite like taking a trip upstate to view the beautiful Niagara Falls, or spending time with friends and family on any of the 63 beaches that border the Long Island Sound,” said Sarah Vitti, Clean Water Campaign Organizer with Environment New York. “Our Summer Fun Index shows how important it is to protect our waters.”
According to the index, 44.3 million people visit New York State Parks with waterways each year, and more than 950,000 people use New York waterways for boating, fishing, and swimming.
Despite their popularity, more than 28,785 miles of New York’s rivers and streams are not guaranteed protection under the nation’s Clean Water Act, thanks to a loophole in the law secured by developers and other polluters nearly a decade ago.
In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to restore protections for the headwaters, streams, and wetlands left in limbo by the loophole; but agribusinesses, oil companies, and others are campaigning heavily against it.
In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to restore protections for the headwaters, streams, and wetlands left in limbo by the loophole. But agribusinesses, oil companies, and their champions in Congress others are campaigning heavily against it. Next week the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill, HR 5078, that would block the rule.
“Whether we enjoy them for fishing, boating, or swimming, we all have a stake in the health of the Hudson River, the Long Island Sound, and the rest of our waterways,” said Vitti. “We should be doing everything we can to protect all of our rivers, lakes and streams.”