Washington – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) today announced the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area designation will be reauthorized as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This extension through 2021 keeps the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area operating to promote recreation and tourism, as well as enables the area to access federal funding for local projects. After passage in the House of Representatives today, the Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week. If the bill passes both houses, the request for this designation will head to the President’s desk for his signature.
“The Hudson River Valley is truly one of America’s richest treasures, and holds enormous potential that we are still unlocking,” Senator Gillibrand said. “From the Adirondacks to the busy ports of New York City, the Hudson River Valley helps fuel our economy, inspires our artists, and provides New Yorkers with miles of adventure and endless recreation. As New York’s first Senator from upstate in nearly 40 years, I will always work to preserve the beauty and tradition of the Hudson River Valley.”
“The Hudson Valley’s scenic, historic, agricultural, and natural resources have inspired and captivated for generations – by working together, we will make a long-term investment to protect these gifts for generations to come,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who introduced the legislation in the House in 2013. “This legislation is a true collaboration to boost tourism, invest in our local economy, create jobs, and preserve our region’s heritage.”
“This reauthorization ensures that our ability to be a catalyst for partnership projects that protect and promote the Hudson River Valley’s unparalleled natural, cultural, and historic resources continues well into the future,” said Mark Castiglione, Acting Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. “A recent study showed that this work generates nearly $90 million in economic impact annually. What’s more, these federal resources complement the significant investment in heritage tourism New York State is making under the leadership of Governor Cuomo through the Path Through History initiative. We are deeply grateful to Senator Gillibrand for her leadership, and thank the entire Hudson River Valley Congressional delegation for their unwavering support for the important work of the National Heritage Areas.”
Stretching from Saratoga to Westchester Counties, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area links over 100 individual sites that promote tourism and recreation in the region, while showcasing the Hudson Valley’s unique role in American history and development. A 2013 study found that The Hudson River Valley NHA brings in $584,986,026 million annually to the New York economy, supports 6,530 jobs and generates over $66 million in tax revenue.
First authorized in 1996, the National Heritage authorization expired in 2012. Senator Gillibrand and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney both introduced legislation for a 10-year reauthorization. This legislation renews the designation and eligibility to apply for matching federal funding to be used to help preserve and promote historical, cultural, recreational, and natural sites in the region. The authorization will be extended through 2021.