Growing up in Rochester and raising my children in the Finger Lakes, I would not choose any other place on earth to call home – from the serene lakes to the incredible changing colors of the leaves in fall to the people who live with purpose and passion, intelligence and heart. All the more reason that the environment here is not just a postcard photo to us – it is a carefully balanced, biodiverse ecosystem that supports countless plant and animal species as well as is the economic driver of so many areas of our communities from agriculture to tourism. It is important that we take steps to ensure that Western NY, the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes continue to be places where people want to invest and grow businesses that are in harmony with our environmental systems.
It is out of individual, social and economic interests and, for some, a moral obligation to protect our natural environment. We must support organizations and agencies that monitor water quality as that can affect both fish species, plants, and harmful algae blooms (HABs) that grow in our lakes and rivers. We need federal organizations like the USDA and EPA as well as local groups, such as Cooperative Extensions to help us connect the dots between the lake and river health, extreme weather events, and human activities. A generalized challenge throughout this country, we need a comprehensive response, from funding for research of the problem and development of solutions to addressing the needs of those populations of people who this issue affects, from farmers to homeowners to people who enjoy sports that rely on our waterways. Together, we can use scientific research, economic incentives and, when necessary, measured regulation to maintain the natural balances in our ecosystem that support all species, including our own.
For these reasons, I support:
- The current New York State moratorium on hydraulic-fracturing, which would destroy our magnificent district and poison our lands.
- Federal funding for climate change research to both reduce our contributions to the changing climate as well as to support our businesses, especially our farmers, as they adapt to increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
- Coordinating federal and state alignment to address water quality and ongoing monitoring, as well as specific programs to combat harmful algae blooms.
- Continued federal funding to cleanup sites like West Valley, because no one should have to live in a community where pollution threatens one’s ability to breathe clean air and drink clean water.