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Albany Officials Announce Carbon Agreement With The Nature Conservancy

Today at Albany City Hall, Mayor Kathy Sheehan joined city Water Department Commissioner Joe Coffey and representatives from The Nature Conservancy to announce a new carbon agreement. 

The agreement entails the city water department and water board participating in the Nature Conservancy's Working Woodlands Program, a forest conservation initiative. Officials say it will safeguard clean drinking water for the city, protect critical forests, and generate revenue by marketing carbon credits.

From the joint press release:  "The carbon agreement with the Albany Water Board -- our first in New York state -- is a significant win for both people and nature," said Stuart F. Gruskin, Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy in New York. "By joining the Conservancy's Working Woodlands Program, the Albany Water Board has demonstrated innovative leadership to safeguard clean drinking water for the City of Albany. This initiative creates a new revenue source and supports a forward-looking market mechanism to address climate change, while ensuring that these important forests will remain intact, healthy and productive for future generations.”

As part of the agreement, The Nature Conservancy will conduct a forest and carbon inventory and prepare a 10-year forest management plan for the Albany Water Board.  And it will provide ongoing advice on forest management planning, implementation, and other conservation related issues, and provide inventory, design, statistical guidance, quantification and modeling services related to the development of carbon credits for the voluntary carbon market.

Coffey places the value of commodity carbon at roughly 8 or 9 dollars a ton - expected to funnel half a million dollars to the water board over ten years. 

“The Working Woodlands Project collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, the City of Albany Water Department and the Albany Water Board demonstrates and reinforces the Water Department’s commitment to our core values of sustainability and stewardship.  We will continue to act in ways to ensure long term management of our watershed to sustain a safe, high quality water supply source for decades to come. The opportunity to generate revenue for the Water Board from developing and marketing of carbon credits to the voluntary carbon market from our partnership with the Nature Conservancy is a very valuable added benefit,” said Coffey in the release.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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