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State agencies announce plan to help Mohawk River Valley

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— The state Department of Environmental Conservation and state Department of State will create a multiagency working group to promote community revitalization, environmental sustainability and flood-hazard risk reduction in the Mohawk River Valley, the agencies announced today.

The working group will support the goals of Rep. Paul Tonko's Mighty Waters Initiative and support the work of the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region Economic Development Councils to promote economic development.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed DEC and DOS to establish the working group.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales will co-chair the working group, which will include representatives from the economic development councils and a number of state agencies.

"Economic development and environmental stewardship go hand in hand," DEC Commissioner Martens said. "By establishing a Cabinet-level working group as part of the Mighty Waters partnership, Governor Cuomo is directing the state's technical expertise and know-how to make Congressman Tonko's remarkable vision a reality. The Mohawk River Valley and upper Hudson River deserve nothing less."

"Sustainable revitalization of the Mohawk Valley is the key to our state's future," said state Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. "We are excited about this collaboration with Congressman Tonko to create a more economically independent, community friendly and environmentally sustainable New York."

"I commend Governor Cuomo's leadership on our shared vision of waterfront development and economic revitalization," Tonko said. "These waterways were a source of great destruction and devastation during last year's floods. But as we continue the long, painful process of rebuilding and recovering from Irene and Lee, we must also recognize the potential for growth along these waterways."

The working group will partner and collaborate with businesses, local governments, academic institutions, federal agencies, civic leaders and non-governmental organizations.

The working group will also position the region to receive and strategically deploy federal resources that may become available.



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