Photo by Julie Larsen Maher at the WCS
On Thursday, June 23rd, a petition with more than 55,000 signatures supporting the restoration of funding for New York City’s cultural organizations was delivered to City Hall. People are protesting the proposed 53 percent cut to cultural organizations and The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the city’s zoo and aquarium.
“We want to thank all New Yorkers who helped send a message to City Hall,” said John Calvelli, spokesman for the Wildlife society. “The Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium – along with the rest of the city’s cultural organizations in all five boroughs – drive tourism, bring business to local merchants, create jobs, and are educational resources for families. It is counterproductive to cut city support of culture. It is what makes this city great.”
According to The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which runs the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo, it expends $316 million each year that goes into New York City’s economy. Over four million people visit the zoos each year.
If the proposed budget cuts pass, the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium’s budgets will get cut by a combined $4.7 million.
As City Council debates the budget, which also includes cuts to schools, the wildlife society encourages people to visit wcs.org/cityhall to sign the petition.
Visit here for a complete list of the 33 organizations that will be affected by the budget cuts.