The New York program works throughout the Northeast—including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—to protect the region’s environment, advance NRDC’s top initiatives through local action, and turn our advocacy successes into models that can be replicated in communities across the country.

NRDC was born in Manhattan four decades ago. Since then, our New York team has taken on the region’s biggest environmental issues. These include cleaning up and safeguarding the Hudson River; launching the nation’s largest recycling program; reducing diesel, smog, and other air pollution threats; protecting the Catskills and other parklands; and bringing forth successful environmental justice lawsuits that protect vulnerable communities.

The New York program also helps direct the advocacy efforts of other NRDC programs that work on the ground in the region. We house the organization’s national Environmental Justice Initiative, which grew out of our pioneering work in New York City. And NRDC’s New York political director, based in Albany, is part of the New York program and serves as the top legislative advocate for all of our New York State-based efforts.


  • Working to secure a fossil fuel free future for New York and the surrounding region by fighting pipelines and other infrastructure as well as scaling up renewables and energy efficiency.
  • Partnering with low-income communities and communities of color to fight against environmental hazards that threaten their health and quality of life, and providing legal representation to Environmental Justice Initiative and community groups when necessary
  • Building stronger, more equitable regional food systems by creating new laws and policies, including those that help cities, like New York, make school meals healthier and more sustainable
  • Continuing to lead the transformation of New York City’s waste policy from a reliance on landfills and incineration to an increased use of recycling, composting, and waste prevention
  • Protecting the quality of New York City’s drinking water supply—the nation’s largest—via cost-effective pollution prevention and watershed protection strategies
  • Addressing the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy and using this extreme weather event as launchpad for broader activities that enhance resilience and preparation for climate-related storm events in the New York region and beyond



Environmental justice is an important part of the struggle to improve and maintain a clean and healthful environment, especially for those who have traditionally lived, worked and played closest to the sources of pollution.


A landmark class-action lawsuit settlement has 400,000 New York City public housing residents breathing easier.

Blog Post

Six of the country’s largest school districts have teamed up to form the Urban School Food Alliance, a partnership that’s pushing for healthier and more environmentally friendly lunchrooms by leveraging its combined purchasing power.

Blog Post

A two-year pilot of a new law clinic will provide much-needed legal services to farmers, community and grassroots groups, and mission-oriented food and beverage entrepreneurs.

Blog Post

Environmental coalition petitions the EPA to ensure GE doesn't abandon its PCB mess in the Hudson River.

Blog Post

Fifty NYC groups and two leading councilmembers call on Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito to dump polysytrene foam food and beverage containers.


LG redesigns office building to preserve iconic views.

Northeast Dispatch

New Yorkers are resisting efforts to sextuple the number of anchorage grounds in the river and transform their backyard into a parking lot for oil barges.