State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio was honored by the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Alliance (FL-LOWPA)for his commitment and dedication to preserving and protecting the water resources in our region. The award was given to Senator Nozzolio at a conference hosted by the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance.
The theme of the conference was “Unifying Economic Development and the Environment”. Senator Nozzolio was the keynote speaker at the conference and discussed the future of the Upstate New York economy and the role of New York State government in creating jobs in the region and providing environmental protections for the Finger Lakes.
“Preserving and protecting the quality of the Finger Lakes and promoting their potential and creating jobs in our region is the key to revitalizing our communities and creating new opportunities for the future,” said Senator Nozzolio. “It was a pleasure tobe honored by FL-LOWPA and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”
The purpose of the conference was to highlight the relationship between the regional economy and the environment. The discussions at the conference focused on the collaboration and innovation at the community, watershed and regional levels. Senator Nozzolio was joined at the conference by local leaders, representatives from public agencies, business owners, tourism representatives, environmental civic organizations, planners, agricultural producers, and landowners from the region.
In 2002, Senator Nozzolio secured $1 million in New York State funding to create the Finger Lakes Institute, a research and education center located on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Over the years, he has secured additional funding to support the Institute’s mission of preserving, protecting and promoting the Finger Lakes.
The Institute helps coordinate the efforts of local governments, lakeshore property owners, organizations, grassroots watershed protection groups, and other regional environmental research centers in protecting the ecology of the Finger Lakes and overseeing development along the lakes. Senator Nozzolio has been a strong supporter of establishing links between the Finger Lakes Institute and other regional environmental research centers, such as the Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems at Syracuse University, to ensure the effective utilization of this research.
The Finger Lakes Institute also works with area tourism agencies to effectively market the appeal of the Finger Lakes region. Research conducted at the Institute advances and supports revitalization, restoration and protection projects across the Finger Lakes region. The Finger Lakes region accounts for over $2 billion of the State's $37 billion tourism industry.
This year, Senator Nozzolio fought to secure $625,000 for the Finger Lakes Institute in the 2007-2008 State budget. This announced funding brought the total amount of State aid that Senator Nozzolio has helped secure for the Institute to nearly $2 million.
Throughout his tenure in the Legislature, Senator Nozzolio has also worked to secure significant state support for FL-LOWPA, which was founded as an initiative of the New York State Senate to provide clean, healthy water for the region. Senator Nozzolio has secured millions of dollars in state funding to support FL-LOWPA programs that protect local drinking water supplies, promote recreational usage and support tourism in New York State.