What is the NYS Environmental Protection Fund?
In 1993, the NYS Legislature exercised great foresight and created the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to provide a reliable and dedicated source of funding for essential environmental programs in NYS. The EPF has invested billions to protect and restore our shared environment in every region of the state. EPF projects improve water quality, protect air quality, conserve open space, save family farms, bolster recycling programs, revitalize waterfronts, build community parks, and support zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens.

Why Is the EPF Important?
New York’s environment, economy, and public health are dependent upon the EPF. From Buffalo to Long Island, all New Yorkers benefit from the numerous programs and projects in the EPF. Below is a snapshot of some of the benefits the EPF has provided to New York State:

  • Invested more than 2.8 billion dollars in thousands of projects that have benefited every region of the state.

  • Protects essential water bodies, including the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, Onondaga Lake, Hudson River, South Shore Estuary Reserve, Long Island Sound, Atlantic Ocean, and much more.

  • Preserved hundreds of thousands of acres of open space, parks, and family farms.

  • Helps municipalities bolster recycling programs and safely dispose of household hazardous waste.

  • Provides assistance to farmers to reduce pollution entering our waterways, which allows farms to comply with state and federal water quality standards.

Healthy Environment = Healthy Economy
In addition to investing in clean, healthy communities, the EPF generates billions of dollars for the economy, while supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. Consider the following:

  • For every $1 of EPF funds invested in land conservation, $7 in goods and services is returned to NYS.

  • The EPF protects lands for outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation supports 130,000 jobs and brings in $800 million in tax revenue in NYS.

  • New York’s recycling industry provides 32,000 jobs in 4,000 recycling related businesses. This accounts for an annual payroll of nearly $1.4 billion.

  • The EPF protects parks, beaches and other open space on Long Island. The direct economic benefit of preserving open space is $2.74 billion per year on Long Island.

  • The EPF supports programs that protect and restore the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes support a $5.1 billion recreational boating industry and nearly 29,000 jobs in NY.