Civic Engagement

Through our civic engagement campaigns and programs, the NYLCV Education Fund seeks to empower citizens to be effective advocates for the environment. These programs target discrete communities across New York State and utilize a variety of outreach strategies to encourage citizens to learn about and take action on local conservation issues. During elections, these campaigns provide education about candidates and issues and encourage environmentalists to vote.

Delaware River Watershed Initiative

Amidst concerning news about water quality throughout New York and across the United States, the federal government has passed legislation that will have significant ramifications for one of New York’s most important natural resources: the Delaware River Watershed. The legislation, known as the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, will provide an important source of funding for restoration efforts across the watershed, hopefully for years to come. The DRBCA is an important legislative accomplishment, and we must remain vigilant to protect this program while continuing to look for every opportunity to expand restoration efforts across the state.

In 2017, NYLCVEF will work closely with the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed and the Delaware River Watershed Initiative to build support for additional restoration efforts at the local, state and federal level and protect the newly created Delaware River Basin Restoration Program. We will work with our partners to increase opportunities for digital engagement and advocacy on watershed issues with the long term goal of protecting the waters of the Delaware River for millions of New Yorkers.

Choose Clean Water Coalition

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is 64,000 square miles and encompasses parts of six states and the District of Columbia. Pollution from agriculture, stormwater runoff, and waste water treatment plants has threatened water quality in the region. The Choose Clean Water Coalition was formed as a coalition of more than 200 advocacy groups seeking to protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the NYLCV Education Fund has been selected as the New York State Outreach Lead for 2017-18.

The Coalition seeks an increase in federal funding for programs supporting progress toward water quality goals and endeavors to work at a local level to monitor pollutant levels in the watershed. As the northernmost region of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, New York State must play an important role in helping the Coalition to achieve its water quality goals. In the next two years, we will work with local partners to identify priorities, promote those priorities, and build on the success  of the Coalition in other states to empower New York-based organizations to achieve their goals.

2016 Community Preservation Fund Campaign

On Tuesday, November 8th, voters on the East End of Long Island had an important environmental decision to make on their ballots: whether or not to extend the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) in the five East End towns. The results showed a resounding desire to extend the CPF, the vital 2% real estate transfer tax that protects and preserves local farmland, water quality and open space. This ballot initiative to extend the CPF from 2030 to 2050 is important because of the environmental risks of inaction on the initiative were enormous. The revenue generated from the CPF goes toward protecting land and water out across Suffolk County, and by voting yes on Proposition 1, East End Towns are now authorized to use up to 20% of their Community Preservation Fund towards vital water quality projects.

The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is proud to have contributed our efforts to this positive outcome. We made about 16,000 calls and knocked on approximately 2,000 doors in Riverhead over the weekend, and with the support of Scott’s Miracle Gro we were able to create educational materials to leave behind for local residents. We also partnered with the Verizon Foundation to create a microsite with more information about the campaign and about the CPF and reached out to 20,000 residents of Southold and Riverhead on their mobile phones. This outreach campaign informed local residents about the many benefits of the CPF and reminded them to show up to the polls.

NYC Civic Engagement Campaigns

In New York City, NYLCVEF works with local advocates to provide a one-stop-shop of expertise and leadership of planning and implementing successful advocacy campaigns and connecting local projects with policymakers and high level policy debates. We provide advocacy strategy and technical support to community groups seeking to advance their local sustainability issue. This encompasses smart, targeted local campaigns that delivers specific, tangible local environmental victories. Read more about our recent campaigns here.

Preserving Plum Island

Over the past few years, NYLCVEF has been a member of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition which is advocating for the conservation of this 843-acre island located in the Long Island Sound near the tip of the North Fork of Long Island.  In June of 2015, we partnered with Save the Sound to educate and to identify individuals willing to become locally engaged as citizen advocates on behalf of Plum Island.

Toxic Toys

In 2014, NYLCVEF made educating and engaging Long Islanders about the risk associated with toys containing toxic chemicals and heavy metals a top priority, from issuing a scientific report to conducting a civic engagement campaign using door-to-door canvassing, direct mail and phone calls.

 NYLCVEF Joins Effort to Protect Long Island Sound

Pollution is a major concern for Long Island Sound and this is no more apparent than when the weather gets warm in the summer. That’s why in June 2014 we stepped up our efforts to protect the Long Island Sound. We reached out to 20,000 people who might be interested in learning more about what they could do to protect the waters of Westchester County.

Almost 1,500 people took a pledge to protect the sound in a number of ways — such as reporting pollution, contacting public officials about improving and supporting infrastructure, and keeping a healthier lawn. Now that we’ve made contact with these people, we’re continuing to educate and engage them on environmental issues in the area.

This project was possible thanks to a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation. We were also proud to work with local organization Save the Sound to create content and engage the local community.

Yonkers Waterfront

In the fall of 2012, NYLCVEF joined forces with Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper to educate Yonkers voters about waterfront revitalization issues and the role that their elected officials play, and to engage them to vote for the candidate they feel has the best plan.

YonkersWaterfrontIn the last decade, the Hudson River waterfront in Yonkers has undergone a sweeping revitalization.  This formerly ignored shoreline now boasts hundreds of new residential apartments, restaurants and other urban amenities, and a redeveloped public park and landscaped esplanade.

But despite this progress, Yonkers residents deserve more. The four-mile long shoreline still encompasses several blighted areas, and questions remain over whether and how these areas will be revitalized. Future development plans must include ample open space, smart growth principles such as adequate connections to existing mass transit, and full access to the waterfront for all Yonkers’ residents.