Governor Paterson plans to cut New York State’s Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums (ZBGA) annual budget line by almost 50 percent. This loss would be devastating to the state’s 80 ZBGA institutions. These living museums pump valuable dollars into our communities and employ New Yorkers statewide.
Ask your lawmakers to stand with Assemblymembers Sweeney and Englebright and Senators Thompson and Serrano and don’t let Governor Paterson leave us out in the cold! Let him know that when New York State’s living museums are hurt, New York communities and families are hurt, too.
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Restore the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Budget Line
Dear [Decision Maker],
As someone who cares about the health of New York State's economy, I request that the Governor and our leaders in Albany fully restore the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums (ZBGA) budget line for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.The Governor proposes to cut almost 50 percent of the ZBGA budget line for the next fiscal year. This would be a devastating blow, sparking more program cuts and more layoffs.When you hurt our state's living museums, you hurt New York and New Yorkers. As our nation and state continue to experience an economic crisis, these institutions pump valuable dollars into our communities and employ New Yorkers statewide.The Wildlife Conservation Society alone, which runs the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, pumps more than $416 million into the New York State economy. More than four million guests visit WCS facilities each year, buying from local merchants in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and across New York City. Critical to the goals of the Environmental Protection Fund, living museums educate the next generation of conservation stewards and create an informed electorate that values conservation. WCS and all ZBGA institutions are vital to the science education of millions of students each year.Now is not the time to cut institutions that give jobs to New Yorkers, drive local economies statewide, and educate our children. Please support a full restoration of the ZBGA budget line and an overall EPF restoration of $222 million to ensure our living museums continue to serve the communities that depend on them.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]