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For Release: Friday, March 4, 2022

DEC Releases Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda 2021-2026

Five-Year Plan to Improve Water Quality, Fisheries and Habitats, Protect Communities from Future Flooding, Promote Recreation and Stewardship

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda 2021-2026 (PDF), a five-year plan to advance efforts to conserve, preserve, and restore the Mohawk River and its watershed.

"Understanding the Mohawk River Basin's unique watershed is critical to its management and overall improvement," Commissioner Seggos said. "Working collaboratively with our state and local partners DEC is building on our previous efforts to protect and preserve this resource and strengthen the ability of Mohawk River Basin communities to withstand flooding and high water driven by our changing climate."

The 2021-2026 Action Agenda advances a wide range of efforts to safeguard water quality, protect source waters, improve habitats for fish and wildlife, and promote community resilience in response to extreme weather events. In addition, the Action Agenda works to bolster stewardship opportunities within the Mohawk River watershed with each goal and targeted action designed to achieve the mission of conserving, preserving, and protecting the Mohawk River and its watershed.

The Action Agenda is funded by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and administered through DEC's Mohawk River Basin Program with collaborating stakeholders and partners. As a partnership-based initiative, the Mohawk River Basin Program promotes collaborative decision-making based on an understanding of the entire ecosystem and recognizing that complex issues within the region cannot be fully resolved by managing certain sectors, species, or pollutants on an individual basis. The Action Agenda advances New York State's ecosystem-based management goals by integrating environmental sustainability with the many compatible components of smart and sustainable economic growth and development.

Governor Hochul's 2022-23 Executive Budget proposes increasing the EPF from $300 to $400 million, which would be the highest-level of funding in the program's history. The EPF provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.

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