Highlights and Happenings: April 2017

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CCE with Al Gore.

Celebrating Earth Day, Marching for Science and the Climate

April was an especially busy month for us, with great Earth Day events throughout New York and Connecticut, as well as the March for Science and the Climate March in Washington, DC. Some highlights:

Attending the March for Science in NYC and Buffalo on Earth Day.
Traveling to DC for the Climate March (and meeting Al Gore, pictured) and participating in regional sister marches in Syracuse and Buffalo, NY and New Milford, CT.
Speaking at the Concert for a Cause: Climate Change in Cazenovia, NY about how citizens can get involved in combating climate change at the federal, state, and individual levels.
Working with students conducting research on Long Island water protection and climate change issues at the Long Island Youth Summit.
Presenting on the importance of reducing plastic bag pollution at Guardian Insurance and HBO in NYC, the Hudson Valley Regional Council's Marine Debris Conference, and Yale Law School's Panel on Plastic Pollution and the Politics of Change.
Speaking on the importance of water protection and fighting climate change at Hofstra University and Stony Brook University on Long Island, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Staten Island, and Earthfest in Syracuse.
Judging student presentations at the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute's 6th Annual R&D Student Competition, held at the University at Buffalo. Graduate college teams from across NYS researched, designed, and developed solutions to real-world environmental challenges, and we were blown away by the impressive results!

Victory! Great Lakes and Long Island Sound Funding Maintained

Despite attempts by the Trump administration to slash funding for Great Lakes and Long Island Sound restoration in the ongoing FY 2017 federal budget, Congress rejected the ill-advised cuts and will continue to fund critical restoration programs for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Long Island Sound will be funded at $8 million, and the Great Lakes will continue to be funded at $300 million. A big thank you to our U.S. senators and members in the U.S. House from NY and CT for fighting to continue funding these critical programs. Now, it's time to gear up to fund these necessary restoration programs, as well as EPA, climate change programs, and other critical public health programs, in the upcoming FY 2018 budget. Have you signed our online petition yet?

Victory! $2 Million to Protect Upstate NY Drinking Water Quality

Governor Cuomo announced formal approval of advanced water treatment technologies to address water quality concerns in the City of Auburn and Town of Owasco. The Governor set aside funding that will be used to study and implement safeguards for the Owasco Lake Watershed, enhance water quality studies, and implement pollution prevention measures. Investing in clean water infrastructure not only helps address Owasco Lake's algal blooms but also ensures access to clean drinking water and protects the public's health in these upstate NY communities.

Fighting to Save Connecticut's Bottle Bill

We joined State Representative Mary Mushinsky, the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, business leaders, and environmentalists in Hartford to oppose a bill that would replace Connecticut's bottle deposit with a tax. The Bottle Bill is one of Connecticut's most successful environmental programs, having significantly reduced litter throughout the state. By replacing the deposit with a tax, the incentive to recycle would be scrapped, litter in our parks and streets would increase, and the cost of recycling in our communities would also increase. To help us in the fight to save the Bottle Bill, email legislators today.
Students present their videos.

Working with High School Students to Push the #ErieBYOBag Message

High school seniors from BOCES 1 Erie, at the Buffalo Zoo, were challenged to create four videos advocating that we reduce our use of plastic bags and switch to reusable bags. The results were outstanding—so good, in fact, that we worked with Erie County to have the videos shown at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center to a standing-room-only audience! Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke to all the attendees and congratulated the students on their work. Check out the four videos: one, two, three, and four!
Lobbying on funding for LIS.

Lobbying for Long Island Sound

In response to the proposed gutting of Long Island Sound (LIS) funding in the Executive Budget, CCE joined environmental groups from LIS communities throughout NY and CT to lobby on the importance of funding for LIS restoration programs in Washington, DC. We met with House and Senate members to discuss how 20 years of funding has significantly improved water quality, restored the health of fisheries, and improved the economy for our communities. Our representatives were successful in maintaining LIS funding in the 2017 budget, and we will continue to fight for a fully funded LIS program in 2018!
Adrienne Esposito with Senator Schumer.

Calling for the Removal of a Hidden Carcinogen in Our Personal Care Products

CCE joined U.S. Senator Charles Schumer for a press conference calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require that companies remove 1,4-dioxane from their products. 1,4-Dioxane is a hidden carcinogen lurking in 46% of personal care products, such as shampoos, detergents, and baby wipes. A recent CCE report found the contaminant at levels exceeding the EPA cancer risk guideline level in drinking water wells throughout Long Island. Now that we know there is a problem, we need federal action to ensure that companies get 1,4-dioxane out of everyday products.

Upcoming: Still Time to Get Your Tickets for Our Annual Gala

Join us for our Environmental Equinox Awards Gala to celebrate more than three decades of grassroots accomplishments and our special honoree, Deepwater Wind. The event is being held on May 18 on Long Island—don't miss it! Learn more, and get your tickets today.
CCE in the News
April 25, 2017 – from The Detroit News: Several states consider tossing bottle deposit programs
April 24, 2017 – from Long Island Business News: LIPA report says “no” to new power plants
April 22, 2017 – from Newsday: LIPA review recommends not overhauling aging power plants
April 22, 2017 – from Valley News: N.H. Considers Stricter Regulation on Rennie Farm Chemical
April 21, 2017 – from LI Herald: Sunrise Highway aqueduct study moves forward
April 20, 2017 – from News 12 Long Island: Environmentalists: E. Quogue golf resort will pollute water
April 20, 2017 – from LI Herald: State allocates $2.5 billion for water quality
April 18, 2017 – from WRVO Public Media: Debate over best way to warn of dangers of eating fish from Onondaga Lake
April 15, 2017 – from Riverhead News-Review: Consultant: Portion of pollution cleanup at EPCAL could take 30 years
April 14, 2017 – from The Island Now: Schumer Urges FDA to Force Companies to Remove 1,4-Dioxane
April 14, 2017 – from myrecordjournal.com: Legislature debates bottle redemption law as Malloy looks to double deposit fee
April 13, 2017 – from Newsday: Schumer asks FDA to mandate removal of contaminant 1,4-dioxane
April 13, 2017 – from The Long Island Advance: Septic improvement outreach program launches
April 13, 2017 – from WFSB Hartford: Environmental advocates, lawmakers oppose 'Connecticut Bottle Tax'
April 11, 2017 – from News 12 Long Island: New water testing to be performed as part of state budget
April 11, 2017 – from LongIsland.com: County Executive Bellone Announces Community Outreach Campaign To Promote First-Ever Septic Improvement Program In Suffolk
April 11, 2017 – from Greater Patchogue: Bellone Announces Town Hall-Style Serioes to Tout Septic Improvement Program
April 5, 2017 – from The Island Now: Roslyn Water District plays down findings of environmental report on carcinogen
April 3, 2017 – from ctViewpoints: Connecticut legislature must act on bill to repeal gas pipeline tax

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