Legislation seeks to encourage conservation education

Thomas F. O'Mara

May 10, 2011

Albany, N.Y.—The New York State Senate approved today legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to authorize local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDS) to undertake extensive public information and education programs.

O’Mara said the move is seen as a way to legitimize and prioritize conservation education as an effective tool in preserving and protecting the state’s soil, water, and other natural resources.

“This legislation seeks to build on and encourage the growing belief that education and public awareness play an increasingly active and effective role in conservation and environmental quality and protection,” said O’Mara, a member of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, which developed the measure.

Approximately 20% of the state’s SWCDS have environmental educators on staff.

The legislation (S.2839-A) now goes to the Assembly, where it’s been referred to the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.  It must be approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo before becoming law.