Nassau County to join state Climate Smart Communities program

Originally published in Newsday

Nassau County officials said Tuesday they are joining a statewide program aimed at helping local governments adapt to climate change.

Officials said they are joining the Climate Smart Communities program in part because the federal government, under President Donald Trump, is not doing enough to address climate change and pursue measures such as solar energy and wind power.

“It is our responsibility to protect our environment for generations to come and Nassau County stands ready to do our part," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said at a news conference held on a boardwalk at the top of a sand dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Lido Beach.

Officials did not have an exact figure on how much the effort would cost Nassau County, though they said it will be at least several million dollars.

Officials said that money would be largely offset by state grants, and benefits to the economy.

The Smart Communities program was created by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It lists a series of guidelines and goals participating governments must meet to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience.

"New York is leading the way on combating climate change and ensuring a green, sustainable future for generations to come,” said State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who is chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.