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Grants Program 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.

Reissue: 2015 Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA Available Now: Deadline November 13, 2015

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the availability of $630,000 in competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants which will implement priorities of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda. The Reissue: Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency Request for Applications (RFA) is described below. Application information and instructions follow. The deadline for applications is November 13, 2015 by 3:00 p.m.


Approximately $630,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $630,000.

Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by:

  • New York State (NYS) Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary Program - approximately $356,100
  • NYS Natural Resource Damages Fund - approximately $41,900
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Program, State Wildlife Grant - approximately $232,000

Project Objectives

This RFA for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency seeks to achieve one or more of the following objectives of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda:

  • Conserve and restore habitat for migratory fish in tributary streams of the estuary
  • Support the restoration of free-flowing waters to benefit water quality, stream habitat, and aquatic connectivity in tributaries of the estuary
  • Help communities with existing and projected impacts of localized flooding along tributaries of the Estuary
  • Conserve for future generations the rich diversity of plants, animals, and habitats of the Hudson River estuary ecosystem

This RFA addresses state and federal priorities for protection of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and for mitigation of damages to natural resources.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

To be eligible, projects must conserve and restore aquatic habitat connectivity for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) found in the tributary streams of the Estuary watershed. Primary priority will be given to projects affecting one or both of two SGCN species-American eel and river herring. Secondary priority will be given to aquatic habitat connectivity for other aquatic SGCN species, including designated fishes (such as brook trout), amphibians, reptiles, or bivalves.

Perched culvert prevents fish migration
Perched culvert

Examples of priority projects which improve aquatic connectivity are:

  • removal of dams
  • right-sizing of stream culverts or road crossings/ bridges to improve stream flow, and support organism passage of a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN).
  • restoration of perched culverts to grade
  • replacement of culverts to reestablish natural stream-bottom conditions

Secondary priority projects are the placement of fish passage devices for herring or eel at locations where it is not feasible to remove a man-made barrier. No project that is deemed harmful to SGCN species or federally listed endangered species or that replaces one barrier with another will be deemed eligible.

DEC has identified many aquatic barriers throughout the grant boundary, including watershed-scale culvert prioritization projects in Black River-Kinderhook, Cedar Pond Brook, Fall Kill-Roeliff Jansen Kill, Hannacroix Creek, Hollowville Creek-Claverack Creek, Klein Kill-Roeliff Jansen Kill, Lake Creek-Catskill Creek, Landsman Kill, Minisceongo Creek, Punch Brook-Roeliff Jansen Kill, Rochester Creek, Saw Kill, Schodack Creek, Shekomeko Creek, Shingle Kill-Catskill Creek, Silver Stream-Moodna Creek, Vly Creek-Normanskill, Woodbury Creek, and Wynants Kill sub-watersheds. A map of identified and prioritized barriers can be viewed on the Aquatic Connectivity and Barrier Removal web page.

To view the "Reissue: 2015 Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency" please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for "Hudson River Estuary".

Application Deadline

All applications must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on November 13, 2015 This includes answering program questions and uploading required program documents and forms. Paper applications will NOT be accepted. It is strongly encouraged to submit applications at least two business days in advance of the deadline. Applicants may submit up to 5 applications. However, the applications may not be for the same project or project location.

All applicants must be registered in the Grants Gateway to be eligible to apply for any New York State grant opportunity. Not-for-Profit applicants also must prequalify in the Grants Gateway system prior to the application deadline to be considered eligible to apply for a grant. Registration and prequalification information is available online at the NYS Grants Reform website (leaves DEC's website). Registration is not an online process. Register early to allow time for processing of documents.

Questions and Answers

Questions about registration and prequalification through the Grants Gateway should be directed to 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 the Estuary Grants Program should be directed to the contact below. Questions about this grant opportunity will be accepted until close-of-business November 6, 2015. All applicants' questions, and answers to these questions, will be posted in the New York State Grants Gateway for all applicants to review.

Susan Pepe
Grants Manager
NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-3506

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

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