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Grants Program for the Hudson River Estuary


Now Available- Two Requests for Applications (RFAs): Tributary Restoration and Resiliency; Local Stewardship Planning Application Deadline June 15 at 2 p.m.

SUMMER 2015: Expected Availability of Hudson River Estuary Access Grants



The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the availability of the 2015 competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants Program provided through two RFAs which will implement priorities of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda. The RFAs for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency and Local Stewardship Planning are separately described below. To download each RFA, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for 'Hudson River Estuary'. Applications and instructions are included in the RFAs.

Tributary Restoration and Resiliency

Funding

Approximately $750,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency. Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by:

  • New York State (NYS) Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary Program - approximately $146,100
  • NYS Natural Resource Damages Fund - approximately $103,900
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Program, State Wildlife Grant - approximately $500,000

What are the minimum and maximum award amounts?

The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $750,000.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

perched culvert
Perched culverts are barriers to migratory
fish and other aquatic life.

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.

Examples of priority projects which improve aquatic connectivity are:

  • removal of dams
  • restoration of perched culverts to grade
  • replacement of culverts to reestablish natural stream-bottom conditions and
  • right-sizing of bridges and culverts.

Secondary priority projects are the placement of fish passage devices for herring or eel at locations where removal of a man-made barrier is determined to be not feasible.

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 Creek-Kinderhook, Cedar Pond Brook, Lake Creek-Catskill Creek, Hollowville Creek, Punch-Brook Roeliff Jansen Kill, Rochester Creek, Saw Creek, Shekomeko Creek, Shingle Kill, Vly Kill-Normans Kill, or Woodbury Creek sub-watersheds. A map of identified and prioritized barriers can be viewed on the Aquatic Connectivity and Barrier Removal webpage.

To see eligible categories of tributary restoration and resiliency projects, see descriptions of eligible projects (PDF 978 KB). To view the Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA with eligibility requirements, the application, and instructions, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for 'Tributary Restoration and Resiliency'.

Local Stewardship Planning

Funding

Approximately $800,000 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.

What are the minimum and maximum award amounts?

The minimum award amount is $5,000 and the maximum award amount is $50,000.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

volunteers learning to identify wetland habitat
Volunteers learn how to map
vernal pools for a natural
resource inventory.

The Local Stewardship Planning Grants will fund the following eight categories of local projects and programs:

  • 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 in ways that will mitigate the risks associated with storm surge and flooding
  • The design or assessment green infrastructure (strategies that restore or emulate natural systems) to recharge ground water and 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
  • The design of shoreline-stabilization projects that address ongoing or anticipated erosion issues while maintaining or enhancing ecological function
  • Development of natural resource inventories (NRI) or open space conservation plans
  • Development of scenic resource inventories or the creation of guidance documents for ecologically-sound scenic vista maintenance and related training

Eligible projects include plans, feasibility studies, assessments, inventories, design and permitting, and the development of regionally-applicable guidance documents or handbooks to help communities improve infrastructure and protect water resources and habitat.

To see eligible categories of planning projects, see descriptions of eligible projects (PDF 978 KB). 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 'Local Stewardship Planning'.

Who may apply?

Eligible applicants include 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations and municipalities (a local public authority or public benefit corporation, a county, city, town, village, or Indian tribe or nation residing within New York state, 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 New York State (NYS) grant applicants must register with the NYS Grants Gateway online system to be eligible to access and apply for available grant opportunities. The registration form and instructions, along with additional information on the Grants Gateway, can be found in the "Grantee" section of the NYS Grants Reform website (leaves DEC website). Registration is not available online. Registration forms must be mailed and cannot be submitted online or faxed. Register early to allow sufficient time for processing.

In addition to being registered, not-for-profit organizations must complete the Vendor Prequalification process on the Grants Reform website to be considered eligible to apply for a grant. Applications received from not-for-profit applicants that are not prequalified in the Grants Gateway by the proposal due date will not be eligible for evaluation and scoring. Information and instructions about the prequalification process can be found on the NYS Grants Reform website (leaves DEC website).

Specific questions about the registration and prequalification process may be emailed to GrantsReform@budget.ny.gov.

Applications and Instructions

Once an organization has registered, grant applications must be accessed and completed online by visiting the NYS Grants Gateway website. Descriptions of eligible project categories can be found in the PDF files for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency and Local Stewardship Planning.

Questions and Answers

Questions regarding the registration and prequalification process should be directed to GrantsReform@Budget.ny.gov. Step-by-step tutorials and guides are available in the 'Grantee' section of the NYS Grants Reform website (leaves DEC website).

Questions regarding these grant opportunities will be accepted by the DEC until June 8, 2015. Questions about the Hudson River Estuary Grants should be directed to the contact below:

Becky Thomas
NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-3507
becky.thomas@dec.ny.gov

Grants Program History

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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