Published on November 1st, 2012 | by growwny0
Our Shared Agenda for Action is designed to be an inclusive, but focused plan of action for working together to accomplish environmental change in our region.
Each action item in this Agenda is based on a specific need identified through the work done by the Western New York Environmental Alliance (WNYEA) Task Groups and at the Environmental Congresses.
1. Preserve and restore our regional environment through collaborative projects.
CHALLENGE: A large number of groups are working on environmental issues but there are a lack of opportunities for them to collaborate.
- Build demand for alternative energy with a one-stop-shop for consumers to see demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficiency methods.
- Reclaim and re-purpose vacant commercial, industrial, and residential property in two distressed pilot communities.
- Enhance environmental education for children and adults on the region’s environmental assets and threats by linking them to a comprehensive information source.
- Reduce the threat of invasive species to the region by effectively accessing state funding through the Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) program.
- Access federal and state resources for shovel-ready projects to protect our unique natural habitats.
2. Mobilize the public and policymakers to improve the environment.
CHALLENGE: The general public and policymakers are often unaware of the importance of environmental work and the specific implications of inaction for Western New York.
- Change opinions through a multi-faceted awareness campaign on key environmental issues.
- Provide tools and incentives for recycling, water conservation and reuse to influence public behavior.
- Quantify the economic impact of parks and green spaces, toxic and hazardous waste, habitat loss, and urban regeneration to make a compelling case for environmental quality.
- Create a WNY energy policy center to engage the public in a productive dialogue about energy.
- Advocate for regional planning boards to implement smart growth policies.
- Increase stewardship and connectivity of parks through a regional plan to restore and maintain our parks.
- Develop a regional strategy to protect our water quality and quantity from pollution, climate change, and economic pressures.
- Act as the environmental watchdog: monitor the environmental behavior of citizens and policy-makers.
- Establish a network to quickly alert citizens, organizations, and policymakers to legislative opportunities or threats.
3. Strengthen environmental organizations.
CHALLENGE: Many environmental organizations are understaffed, underfunded and disconnected from other groups with similar goals.
- Maximize the collective impact of 150+ environmental organizations through WNYEA.
- Create an online community to improve communication and coordination between environmental organizations and the public.
- Provide training, technical assistance, networking opportunities and access to funds for environmental leaders.
- Improve funding for environmental programs by honing fundraising skills and through join grantwriting.
- Secure shared space and resources for environmental organizations, businesses and others.