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New York zoos, aquariums saved from funding cut

The New York State Legislature has rejected Governor David Paterson’s proposal to cut funding for state zoos by 55 percent for 2009 after public uproar.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo and New York Aquarium, among other facilities, welcomed the decision.

“We applaud the New York State Legislature for rejecting Governor Paterson’s proposal to disproportionately cut the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums (ZBGA) budget line by 55 percent for Fiscal Year 2009,” said John Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “This was a strategic decision by our state legislators who recognize the economic, educational and environmental importance of all 76 institutions funded by the ZBGA budget line. While the decision to protect the funding this year was vital, we ask that our state legislators recognize the importance of the state’s Environmental Protection Fund to all New Yorkers and reject the governor’s proposal to zero out the ZBGA budget line in Fiscal Year 2010. We hope that Albany will use a scalpel, and not an ax, to make targeted reductions that will allow our institutions to weather this financial storm.”

Living museums across New York state will get the original $9 million allocated to them at the beginning of Fiscal year 2009.

New Yorkers sent more than 46,000 messages to the state capital opposing the cuts. Nevertheless New York’s living museums — zoos, aqauriums, and botanical gardens &#8212l continue to face a 100 percent cut in state funding for Fiscal Year 2010.

New Yorkers can voice their concern at to

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