ALBANY, NY-Three public hearings have been scheduled by New York State to hear comments on a proposed Rivers and Estuaries Institute on the Hudson River. The three hearings are to be held in Albany, Poughkeepsie and Tarrytown.

The session in Albany is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today (Dec. 4) at the Omni Crowne Plaza. The meeting in Poughkeepsie will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Poughkeepsie Sheraton at 6:30 p.m. and on Thursday, Dec. 7, a hearing will be staged at the Tarrytown Hilton beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In his State of the State message in January 2000, Governor George Pataki proposed developing a Rivers and Estuaries Institute on the Hudson River. Since then, the governor has established a State Task Force and Advisory Committee to study the siting, funding and strategic planning of the proposed institute. Governor Pataki has said that the institute should be patterned after the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts. Since January, local officials in municipalities up and down the Hudson River have lobbied New York State to locate the institute in their communities. To date, no site location has been released, and the task force, chaired by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner John Cahill, is expected to release its findings in the spring of 2001.

“Our vision for a new Rivers and Estuaries Institute located along the banks of the majestic Hudson River will bring both national and global prominence to the Hudson Valley through its work to protect and preserve rivers throughout the world,” says Pataki. “The opinions and suggestions of local leaders on the planning and development of the institute are critical to ensure the success of this exciting and ambitious endeavor.”

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