The New York City Group of the Sierra Club, is a local organization that is part of the country’s largest and oldest grass-roots environmental organization. Founded in California in 1892 by naturalist and explorer John Muir, its mission is to “explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth.” In New York City, we’ve been active on a wide range of issues, most famously as the successful lead plaintiff in the fight against Westway, the State’s plan to build an underground highway on landfill in the Hudson River that would have threatened ”a highly significant and productive habitat for stripped bass”.
The New York City Group, which is 11,000 members strong, works on a variety of issues – from local ones like the rehabilitation of the Gowanus Canal to state issues like the fight against fracking to national issues like ending the use of coal. Also, our members work to preserve our unique and precious natural wildlife habitats in New York, such as Jamaica Bay, where thousands of birds stop on their migration routes to rest and feed. And, consistent with John Muir’s philosophy, we support activities to deepen the public’s appreciation for our natural surroundings. Examples include lectures, walks, and an active nature photography club.
In addition, we are part of the Atlantic Chapter, headquartered in Albany since 1978, which is responsible for the Sierra Club’s activities across New York State and for lobbying activities in Albany. The Chapter actively pursues environmental goals related to land use and development, pollution, energy, recycling, and endangered species and habitat protection. In recent years, the Atlantic Chapter has been successful in expanding green energy use in our state through policies such as net metering. In addition, the Chapter has been at the forefront of the opposition to the environmentally destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”.
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