The following statement was issued by John F. Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs:
“The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) applauds New York State Governor Cuomo for signing into law a bill that will block any offshore drilling activity off of New York’s coastline, a region that supports a diversity of marine life as well as vital livelihoods for the state’s coastal communities.
“We commend New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator Todd Kaminsky for sponsoring and our other state senators and assembly members for ensuring passage of this important legislation. Oil and gas development in the Atlantic not only threatens some of our most iconic species, including the endangered North Atlantic right whale, it can be devastating to our entire marine ecosystem. Such activities would have tremendous impacts on tourism and the jobs that depend on a healthy ocean which support more than 350,000 jobs and contribute more than $23 Billion to the state’s GDP.
“The new law is a milestone in efforts to protect the nation’s marine ecosystems. WCS is opposed to any extreme expansion of development being proposed at the federal level. We hope that today’s newly created law will serve as a reminder to the country that our natural heritage should never be traded for short-term gain.”