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 the priorities of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda which aims to achieve six key benefits: clean water; resilient communities; a vital estuarine ecosystem; conservation of fish, wildlife, and habitats; waterway access; the resiliency of communities; preservation of the river's natural scenery; and enhanced opportunities for education, river access, recreation, and inspiration. Funding opportunities are announced as Requests for Applications (RFAs) or as Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the availability of competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants provided through three RFAs which will implement priorities of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda. The RFAs for Local Stewardship Planning, and River Access and River Education are separately described below. To 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.
Local Stewardship Planning
Approximately $1,200,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for Local Stewardship Planning. Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary Program. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $50,000.
What types of projects are eligible for funding?
The Local Stewardship Planning Grants will fund the following seven categories of local projects and programs:
Photo credit: Richard Guthrie
Coxsackie Grassland Preserve
- The development of municipal and inter-municipal flood-adaptation plans relating to sea-level rise and storm surge for communities on the shoreline of the Hudson River estuary
- Assessment of options for the design, operation, and maintenance of municipal water and waste water infrastructure at risk of flooding.
- The design or assessment of green infrastructure to reduce storm-water flows that contribute to combined sewer overflows
- Development or updating of watershed management plans for tributaries to the Hudson River estuary
- Projects to improve conditions for free-flowing streams through design of improved road/stream crossings, dam removals, or stream-barrier mitigation
- Development of natural resource inventories (NRI), natural resources conservation plans, or open space conservation plans
- Planning to enable Hudson River shoreline property owners to conserve scenery using ecological principles; enable residents and visitors to enjoy scenic vistas and views; or identify and include locally-valued scenic resources in local planning, recreation, economic development, and natural resource conservation programs.
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'.
Local Stewardship Application Deadline
All applications for "Local Stewardship Planning" must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on December 16, 2015. This includes answering program questions and 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 December 9, 2015.
River Access and River Education
Approximately $1,020,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for River Access and Education to support projects and plans in two general categories:
- To improve access, including universal access, for fishing, swimming, boating, and wildlife-dependent recreation on tidal waters;
- To enhance education about the estuary along the tidal waters of the Hudson and ensure opportunities to learn about the Hudson Estuary are accessible to a wide-range of people.
The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $100,000.
Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by the New York State (NYS) Environmental Protection Fund.
Proposed projects, except for Environmental Justice (EJ) projects, must provide or improve direct access to the tidal waters of the Hudson River Estuary or Upper New York Bay for boating, swimming, fishing, wildlife-related recreation, or to improve estuary-focused education.
What types of projects are eligible for funding?
A Hudson River Estuary grant funded this dock
in Newburgh, which is used for fishing.
- New Hudson River Shoreline Access, to plan, design, and/or construct improvements for new access sites for fishing, swimming, boating, and/or wildlife-dependent recreation along the tidal waters of the estuary.
- Hudson River Shoreline Access Retrofits for projects on the shoreline of the tidal waters of the Hudson River estuary to design, develop, retrofit, repair, or make improvements for river access sites to be resilient to storm surge and sea-level rise, and/or increase access for people of all abilities on and along the estuary.
- Environmental Justice Access for plans, designs or improvements designed to specifically serve environmental justice communities in municipalities which border the Hudson Estuary shoreline by providing or enhancing access to the tidal and non-tidal waters of the Hudson or its tributaries in those communities.
- Regional Plans for River Access for plans or designs which provide regional approaches for improving access to the Hudson and/or storm resiliency and/or use for people of all abilities.
- Information for Users of Access Sites for plans or projects to improve the availability of information on the web which will allow potential users of river access sites to understand local site conditions and make choices suited for their desires, needs and abilities.
Hudson River Estuary grant-funded
signage on the Rondout in Kingston
- Hudson River Shoreline Facilities for Education about the Hudson River Estuary for projects on or in sight of the shoreline of the Hudson River estuary to plan, design, equip and/or construct facilities (including signage, exhibits and art installations) to be used for education of families, tourists, and residents.
- Hudson River Education for school groups for projects that improve facilities, exhibits, Web applications for mobile devices, or River access sites in ways that will help school groups learn about the estuary and relevant management issues and engage in stewardship of the estuary and its watershed.
- Internet-based learning about the Estuary for projects to expand the audience for science-based information about the natural history of the Hudson estuary, promote a natural-history-based sense of place, making use of the internet, Web applications for mobile devices, and social media.
To view the River Access and Education RFA with eligibility requirements, application, and instructions, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for Hudson River Estuary, 'River Access and Education'.
River Access and River Education Application Deadline
Applications for River Access and Education must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on December 16, 2015. This includes answering program questions and 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. 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 December 9, 2015.
Eligible applicants for these RFAs include 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations, 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). Projects eligible for state assistance must be located within the Estuary Watershed Boundaries PDF (1.6 MB).
How Do I Apply?
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 'Tributary Restoration and Resiliency' must be received by COB November 6. Questions about 'Local Stewardship Planning' and 'River Access and River Education' must be received by COB December 9, 2015. All applicants' questions, and answers to these questions, will be posted in the New York State Grants Gateway for all applicants to review.
NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
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.
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
- 2011-2012 (PDF) (2 page, 16 kB)
- 2008-2009 (PDF) (5 page, 50 kB)
- 2007-2008 (PDF) (5 page, 40 kB)
- 2006-2007 (PDF) (2 page, 30 kB)
- 2005-2006 (PDF) (5 page, 30 kB)
- 2004-2005 (PDF) (4 page, 50 kB)
- 2003-2004 (PDF) (4 page, 60 kB)
- 2002-2003 (PDF) (3 page, 70 kB)
- 2001-2002 (PDF) (3 page, 80 kB)
- 2000-2001 (PDF) (4 page, 130 kB)
- 1999-2000 (PDF) (2 page, 120 kB)