Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Grants Program and Funding Opportunities for the Hudson River Estuary

Funding Opportunities through the Hudson River Estuary Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provides funding through the Hudson River Estuary Program to implement priorities outlined in the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda aimed at conserving or improving clean water; fish, wildlife and their habitats; waterway access; the resiliency of communities; and river scenery. These opportunities are announced as grants or as Requests for Proposals.

Hudson River Estuary Grant Funding Now Available:
'Local Stewardship Planning' and 'River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities'
Deadline: July 12, 2017 at 3 p.m.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the availability of competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants provided through two RFAs, Local Stewardship Planning, and River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities which are separately described below. To view and download each RFA, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for 'Hudson River Estuary'. Descriptions of eligible projects, applications, eligibility requirements, and instructions for registering and prequalifying in the Grants Gateway are included in each RFA. General eligibility requirements are described below. Funding for these grant opportunities is provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary Program.

Local Stewardship Planning

Approximately $450,000 is available for Local Stewardship Planning. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $50,000. This RFA is designed to help local organizations and communities advance six categories of local projects and programs through planning, feasibility studies, and/or design.

Eligible Projects

Aerial view of Catskill Village
Catskill Village is planning for storm surge and
sea-level rise with the help of Estuary Program grants.
Photo: Jeff Anzevino

This RFA is designed to help local organizations and communities advance six categories of projects and programs through planning, feasibility studies, and/or design.

  1. Adapting land uses and decision-making to factor in climate change, flooding, drought, and sea-level rise projections in Hudson River shoreline communities.
  2. Making water infrastructure more resilient to flooding and/or sea-level rise;
  3. Using green infrastructure practices as a means to reduce combined sewer overflows or sanitary sewer overflows;
  4. Watershed management planning within a Hudson River tributary, a tributary sub-watershed, or source watershed;
  5. Creating a natural resources inventory, open space inventory/index, or open space plan to conserve natural resources;
  6. Planning for conservation and stewardship of natural scenery and natural vistas.

To view the "Local Stewardship Planning" RFA with eligibility requirements, the application, and instructions, please visit NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for Hudson River Estuary or 'Local Stewardship Planning' (Round 22).

Local Stewardship Application Deadline

All applications for "Local Stewardship Planning" must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on July 12, 2017. This includes uploading required program documents and forms. Paper applications will NOT be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications at least two business days in advance of the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be eligible for review. Applicants may submit up to 3 applications. However, the applications may not be for the same project or project location. Questions about this grant opportunity will be accepted until close-of-business July 5, 2017. All applicants' questions, and answers to these questions, will be posted in the New York State Grants Gateway for all applicants to review. Questions should be directed to Susan Pepe at HREPgrants@dec.ny.gov. (Please see "Questions and Answers" below.)

River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities

Approximately $220,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $50,000.

Eligible Projects

Woman uses 'strong arm' adaptive rod holder to fish
A 'strong arm' adaptive fishing device provides extra
support for this angler during a day of fishing
on the Hudson in New York City.

This RFA is designed to help local organizations and communities execute quality projects which improve accessibility at existing river access sites for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-dependent recreation; or educational interpretation of the estuary for people of all abilities on the tidal waters of the Hudson, especially focused on making improvements to include people with disabilities. Projects may include construction of physical improvements, purchase of adaptive equipment, or development of accessibility improvement plans, as described in greater detail below. The full scope of an accessibility project should include accessible parking and pathway to the new element or a reference that these already exist. Wherever possible, incorporating principles of universal design is strongly encouraged.

  1. Hudson River Shoreline Access Retrofits Applicants may apply for projects on the shoreline of the tidal waters of the Hudson River estuary, including the tidal portion of its tributaries, to develop, retrofit, repair, or make improvements to existing river access sites to improve access for people of all abilities for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-related recreation or educational interpretation of the estuary for people of all abilities on and along the estuary.
  2. Assessing and Planning for Accessibility Improvements Applicants may apply for projects that propose ADA designs, plans, assessments and ADA transition planning for existing access sites along the Hudson River estuary. Such plans must specifically lead to improving the use of the site for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-related recreation or educational interpretation of the estuary for people of all abilities.

Application Deadline

All applications for "River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities" must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on July 12, 2017. This includes uploading required program documents and forms. Paper applications will NOT be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications at least two business days in advance of the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be eligible for review. Applicants may submit up to 3 applications. However, the applications may not be for the same project or project location. Questions about this grant opportunity will be accepted until close-of-business July 5, 2017. All applicants' questions, and answers to these questions, will be posted in the New York State Grants Gateway for all applicants to review. Questions should be directed to Susan Pepe at HREPgrants@dec.ny.gov. (Please see "Questions and Answers" below.)

Who may apply?

Eligible applicants include governmental entities, municipalities, and quasi-governmental entities (a local public authority or public benefit corporation, a county, city, town, village, or Indian tribe or nation residing within New York State, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts, school districts, community colleges, or any combination thereof), and not-for-profit corporations with a 501(c)(3) designation. Projects eligible for state assistance must be located within the Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF, 1.6 MB). To find out if your project is located within these boundaries, please type the location of the project into this Hudson River Estuary Grant Program boundaries Google Earth map.

How do I apply?

All New York State (NYS) grant applicants - both governmental and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations - must be registered in the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC's website) to be eligible to apply for any NYS grant opportunity.

Not-For-Profit applicants must prequalify in the Grants Gateway system prior to the application deadline to be considered eligible to apply for a grant. Registration and prequalification must be completed online at the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC's website).

Questions and Answers

Questions about registration and prequalification through the Grants Gateway should be directed to mailto:GrantsReform@Budget.ny.gov. Step-by-step tutorials and guides to registration and prequalification are available at the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC's website).
Questions about Local Stewardship Planning and River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities must be received by COB July 5, 2017. All applicants' questions, and answers to these questions, will be posted in the New York State Grants Gateway for all applicants to review.
Questions about the Estuary Grants Program should be directed to the contact below:

Susan Pepe
Grants Manager
NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-3506
HREPgrants@dec.ny.gov

Grants Program History

Grants for Local Partners

Since 1999, New York State DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program has offered grants to municipalities and non-profits located within its Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF, 1.6 MB). Over the past decade over $11.5 million has been distributed to 342 applicants. The funding for this program is from New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

The Estuary Grants were created to help fulfill those goals of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda that can be implemented most effectively by municipalities, not for profits, and other local partners.

Free kayak program at the 72nd Street boat dock
The creation of this dock for the 72nd Street
free kayak program that serves more than
8,000 people every year was made possible
through an Estuary Program Grant
Past Recipients and Their Projects