Responsible stewardship of our state's natural resources is a team effort. It includes all employees throughout the state park
system as well its many visitors. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) within the New York State Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) consists of dedicated employees that have training and experience in environmental
science, natural resource protection, and environmental impact analysis.
EMB, as part of the State Parks team, assists other agency staff and the public in responsible stewardship of natural resources.
The bureau assists in protecting outdoor resources such as water and land; plants and animals; the environmental health and safety
of patrons and employees; and in ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
State Parks are an excellent resource for conducting scientific research. To conduct research in state parks, please complete
the application for the Scientific Research Permitting System.
The work of the EMB is performed in three general program areas: natural resource stewardship, environmental compliance and
Natural Resource Stewardship
EMB provides recommendations on natural resource conservation in state parks, including the protection of threatened or
endangered species, bird conservation, and invasive species control. The bureau coordinates the Bird Conservation and Natural
Heritage Areas programs within the agency and works closely with staff from the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC), and the New York Department of State (DOS). EMB also works with other resource protection organizations to
develop invasive species management protocols and natural resource management strategies. It seeks ways to advance agency
initiatives in a manner that ensures adequate protection of environmental resources. EMB provides natural history and interpretive
information to assist in the development of environmental education programs offered through state parks, historic sites, nature
centers, visitor centers and museums.
Northeast Association of Environmental Biologists Conference- participation by NYS Parks Staff
Sponsored by the US EPA and the NYS DEC, the NEAEB Conference held in Lake Placid, NY in April 2013 provided an opportunity for
State Park Staff to share current research and receive feedback on state park natural resources and pressing environmental
conservation and stewardship activities. For more information on the conference including the abstract summary please go to
For more information on the topics presented please contact the Environmental Management Bureau, 518-474-0409
Northeast Natural History Conference - participation by NYS Parks
The Northeast Natural History Conference (NENHC) held in Albany in April, 2011 provided an opportunity for State Parks to
highlight our resources and initiatives in a special session entitled "Science and Stewardship in NY State Parks". With the
assistance of our former visiting scientist George Robinson from SUNY Albany, this session looked at biodiversity conservation
at state parks with presentations on management and conservation. Additional presentations on state park resources and efforts
were provided in other oral presentations sessions and poster sessions. Presentations and posters on State Parks at the NENHC
are provided here.
Northeast Chapter of International Erosion Control Association Conference- NYS Parks staff participation
Sustainable Development: "Practical Solutions to Real World Problems". He highlighted a successful, collaborative project at NYS
Parks Coxsackie Boat Launch (Coxsackie, NY) which utilized natural and environmentally friendly techniques to improve and reduce
shoreline erosion to protect the sites parking area.
State Park Research
In November 2012 the scientific Natural Areas Journal, published an article that resulted from collaboration with State Park
Visiting Scientist, Dr. George Robinson from SUNY Albany. The paper explains the stewardship potential of State Parks and how
important they are for biodiversity conservation (Robinson, George R. 2012. Assessing the Conservation Significance of a State Park
System, New York, USA. Natural Areas Journal. 32(4):412–419).
EMB coordinates procedural and substantive compliance with various environmental law, such as the State Environmental Quality
Review Act (SEQR) and the State Agency Environmental Audit. An important component of the planning process within OPRHP is
environmental review. For all projects, the agency must make a determination of the significance of the environmental impacts of a
project. The bureau leads oversight of the preparation of any agency environmental impact statements or assessments and in
coordinating public participation within the environmental review process. As a part of the State Agency Environmental Audit, OPRHP
submits an annual report to DEC that assesses the impact of park operations.
Water quality in state parks is also an important part of OPRHP's commitment to the public. State parks provide drinking water
to park patrons and offer many swimming opportunities at bathing beaches and pools. Good water quality is essential to these
services. EMB coordinates the agency's bathing beach and pool monitoring programs and serves as a liaison with the New York
State Department of Health (DOH) on safe drinking water monitoring. Results from monitoring are used to protect public health and
safety, as well as environmental quality.
2012 Water Quality Team Distinguished Service Award
In 2013 Commissioner Rose Harvey presented EMB’s Water Quality Team with a Distinguished Service Award for their extraordinary team
accomplishment and dedicated professional service in working to protect NYS Parks streams, lakes and bathing beaches. Congratulations
to the Water Quality Team! For more information about the Water Quality Team’s work in NYS Parks please contact the Environmental
Management Bureau (518)474-0409
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
Albany, New York 12238
Phone: (518) 474-0409
Fax: (518) 474-7013