Today, to commemorate the 41st annual Earth Day, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D -- Queens and Brooklyn) released a report highlighting the dangerous impact of the proposed Republican FY 2012 budget on New York City's environment, which if implemented, would cut $54.1 million from the fund that ensures clean drinking water for the City and cut $2 million in funding from Gateway National Recreation Area, the country's largest urban national park.
Under the 2012 Republican budget proposal, funding cuts would also be made to numerous national monuments and historic sites in the New York area, including $900,000 for operating costs at the Statue of Liberty and $120,000 in funding for Governors Island National Monument.
In addition, nearly $400,000 would be cut from projects affecting Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways. These cuts would jeopardize all of the beach replenishment that has been conducted over the past decade by delaying the long-term prevention plan against storm damage that is currently underway. They would also delay the vital marshland restoration projects that have already begun, including the replenishment of Elders Point East, for which Rep. Weiner helped secure $1.5 million. Last month, Weiner announced $500,000 to help prevent erosion at Plumb Beach, but reduced funding to the Army Corps also places the future of projects like this at risk.
The GOP budget would also have a direct impact on park staff and visitors at Gateway National Recreation. Because national parks rely heavily on personnel for their operations, these GOP cuts would mean fewer park rangers at Gateway, especially in the summer when park visitation is at its peak.
In total, over $5 million in funding would be slashed for all national parks in the City and nearly $290 million would be reduced from National Parks Service nationwide. Visitor safety would be put at risk and visitor center and campsite hours could also be reduced significantly.
The proposal put forward by Republicans would also cut $2.8 billion, or 27%, from the Environmental Protection Agency.
"The draconian GOP budget proposal would slash vital funding for projects that protect our beautiful green spaces, national parks and waterways," Weiner said. "The future of our city's natural treasures shouldn't be subjected to the whims of Republicans in Washington who care only about appeasing the most extreme elements of their party."
Full details of Weiner's Report below:
The Republican FY "12 Budget Proposal Would Harm Gateway National Park
Funding to Gateway National Park's would be cut by $2 million, a 13% cut from FY10 levels. (NYC IBO).
This would mean that there would be fewer park rangers in Gateway, especially in the summer when the visitation to the park is at its peak. This puts visitor safety at risk and could mean reduced visitor center and campsite hours. Park facilities would also deteriorate because they do not have the funding or personnel needed to maintain them.
The Republican FY '12 Budget Proposal Would Cut Funding to New York Area Monuments and Historic Sites
Funding for the African Burial Ground National Monument would be cut by $2 million
Funding for the Castle Clinton National Monument would be cut by $19,000
Funding for the Federal Hall National Memorial would be cut by $115,000
Funding for the General Grant National Memorial would be cut by $270,000
Funding for the Governors Island National Monument would be cut by $120,000
Funding for the Hamilton Grange National Memorial would be cut by $4,000
Funding for the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site would be cut by $11,000
The Republican FY '12 Budget Proposal Would Cut Funding to the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty would lose $900,000 in funding for operating expenses, 80% of which goes to personnel.
The Republican FY "12 Budget Proposal Would Harm Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways
Would cut the Army Corps of Engineers funding for the bay by nearly $400,000.
These cuts would jeopardize all of the beach replenishment that has been done over the past decade by delaying the long-term prevention plan for storm-damage that is currently underway. They would also delay the marshland restoration that has already occurred at some of the islands in the Bay.
The Republican FY "12 Budget Proposal Puts New Yorkers' Health at Risk
The Drinking Water Revolving Fund, which works to ensure that local residents receive clean and safe drinking water, would be cut by $54.1 million for NYC. (NYC OMB)
The Clean Water Revolving Fund which works to ensures that local communities can provide clean and sanitary wastewater treatment services for their residents would be cut by $283 million for NYC. (NYC OMB)
Rep. Weiner, who has been endorsed numerous times by the New York League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, has worked tirelessly to protect the environment over the course of his career in Congress. His district is home to Gateway National Recreation Area, the nation's largest urban national park.
From working to combat Jamaica Bay's vanishing marshlands, to hosting the first Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel to create recommendations on how to best improve one of the nation's most-visited national recreation areas, guarding Brooklyn and Queens' natural beauty has always been at the forefront of Weiner's agenda.
He has secured over $10 million in funding to replenish Rockaway beaches. This funding has been used to prevent shoreline erosion and design a long-term storm damage prevention plan through the use of groins and jetties. He secured an additional $6 million in funding to restore Jamaica Bay marshland, including 42 acres at Elders Point East. A marshland restoration project implemented by Rep. Weiner is underway at Elders Point West, with an additional 50 acres set to be restored at Yellow Bar Island.
Weiner has also secured over $14 million funding for Gateway National Park during his years in Congress.