Thursday, January 22, 2009

1/22/09: Sea-Level Rise Meeting

Public Invited to Meetings on Rise of Sea Levels
State Task Force Seeks Input on Adaptation Planning

Thursday, January 22
4 to 7 PM: Open House
7 PM: Presentations
Nelly Goletti Theatre
Student Center, Marist College
Poughkeepsie, New York

The public is invited to a series of meetings about the effects of sea-level rise and the development of recommendations for dealing with rising sea levels, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today.

The meetings, sponsored by the New York State Sea-Level Rise Task Force, will be held at four different locations -- in Poughkeepsie and Manhattan and Suffolk and Nassau Counties.

Each meeting will feature an informal open house session followed by staff presentations and a public-comment period. The open house includes exhibits related to various aspects of climate change andsea level rise. Agency staff will be available to explain the exhibits and answer questions. Those interested may come at any time during the scheduled open house. The meetings give the public an opportunity to provide input on the task force's work plan.

"Global warming is one of the most significant environmental and economic issues of our generation. I commend Commissioner Grannis and his staff for convening this important planning group and urge thepublic and elected officials to participate in this process that will help the state chart a responsible course on this issue," said Governor David A. Paterson.

In his State of the State speech last week, Governor Paterson addressed global warming by calling for one of the most ambitious clean energy plans in the nation. He unveiled his "45 by 15" plan that calls for New York to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and clean renewable energy by 2015. This goal will alsocreate 50,000 new jobs for New Yorkers, helping build the workforce necessary for a clean energy economy. Governor Paterson also announced the creation of a consortium on hybrid electric batteries and energystorage technologies to make strides in the development of technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

New York State is a leader in taking action to address climate change and is implementing a broad portfolio of tactics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, from promoting energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy programs to participating in the nation's first mandatory carbon cap-and-trade program for power plant emissions. As part of this proactive approach, the New York State Legislature established the State Sea-Level Rise Task Force in 2007, under a bill sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney. The task force will issue a report making recommendations toprotect New York's coastal ecosystems, natural habitats, infrastructure, and coastal communities from flooding and other potential impacts.

The task force is comprised of state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, community groups, and private citizens. Commissioner Grannis serves as chair of the task force.

The geographic scope of the task force report will include the five boroughs of New York City and the counties of Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk. The tidal waters of the Hudson River to the Federal Dam at Troy are also included because of the potential risks from rising waters to Hudson River ecosystems, drinking water supplies, and infrastructure.

More information about the State Sea Level Rise Task Force is available at:

To receive e-mail notification of meetings and other task force activities, subscribe to the Sea-Level Rise Task Force e-mail list at:

Submit comments on the work of the Sea-Level Rise Task Force to:

Contact: Mark Lowery, 518-402-8027

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