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Public Notice

Watershed Initiative Call for Applications

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) has issued a call for nominations for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Watershed Initiative grant program. Following the completion of its inaugural year, EPA is continuing the program by issuing the second call for nominations of watershed proposals. This grant program is to encourage protection and restoration of waterbodies in the United States through the use of watershed approaches.

The President has requested $21 million in his 2004 budget for this initiative. Subject to the availability of appropriations, the EPA will select up to 20 watersheds for grants ranging from $300,000 to $1.3 million. Applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum non-federal match of 25% of the total cost of the project or projects.

The Department is requesting nominations on behalf of Governor George E. Pataki, who can nominate two watersheds within the state and an unlimited number of interstate or joint tribal/state watersheds for the grant program. Nominations will be reviewed and evaluated by the Department using EPA’s criteria announced in the October 9, 2003 Federal Register. View the Federal Register at www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/initiative.

The Department will consider nominations that meet the requirements exactly as identified in the Federal Register: a) Format b) Required Elements and c) Non-Federal match requirement.

In general, the nomination and evaluation process is similar to that of last year. This year, however, EPA will place a somewhat larger emphasis on (1) market-based approaches to water quality protection and restoration, and (2) specific approaches to decreasing hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, this year, grant recipients are required to attend a two-day National Watershed Initiative Conference.

For nominations to be reviewed for possible nomination by Governor Pataki, they must be received by the Department by 5:00 p.m., December 1, 2003. Send an original and 10 copies to:

Watershed Initiative
Division of Water
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-3500

Please note that we will not accept hand delivered nominations.

In addition, send an electronic copy of the nomination to: dowinfo@gw.dec.state.ny.us with the subject line: Watershed Initiative.

More information about this grant program can be found on EPA’s Watershed Initiative website at www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/initiative/. Included on the website is the Federal Register notice, the nomination and selection process, and required elements of the nomination. Contacts at EPA are: Theresa Faber (212) 637-3844; faber.theresa@epa.gov or Cyndy Belz (212) 637-3832; belz.cyndy@epa.gov. Contacts at the Department are Lois New (518) 402-8239; lanew@gw.dec.state.ny.us or Ron Entringer 402-8176; raentrin@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Notice of Adoption of a Resource Management Plan - Surfclams

Pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law Sections 13-0308 and 13-0309, and 43-2.6 of Title 6 of the New York Codes Rules and Regulations, the Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department) gives notice of the following:

The Department has adopted a plan for the conservation and management of surfclams (Spisula solidissima) in New York State waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Surfclams are a commercially important bivalve shellfish, harvested by mechanical means from waters of New York State. This management plan will manage the surfclam fishery in the Atlantic Ocean by establishing harvest areas, size limits, catch limits, restrictions on manner of taking and possession, permit requirements, reporting requirements, and restrictions concerning other aspects of the surfclam fishery. This management plan incorporates provisions of the interim regulations currently in place, including: permit requirements for vessels and individuals in the fishery; mandatory harvest reporting requirements; weekly harvest limits not to exceed 28 cages (896 industry bushels); provisions to adjust weekly harvest limits to ensure harvest remains within quarterly and annual limits; maintaining the current cap on the maximum numbers of vessels allowed in the fishery at 23; controlling harvest by an annual harvest limit divided into quarterly limits as specified by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. The management plan was prepared with input and guidance from the Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Management Advisory Board pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law §13-0308.

The Department announced its intention to adopt this management plan in the September 17, 2003 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin (Statewide Notices). The public comment period ended on October 17, 2003. For a copy of the management plan, the Department’s response to comments received, or for further information, contact Maureen Davidson, Bureau of Marine Resources, NYSDEC, 205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733, mcdavids@gw.dec.state.ny.us.