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Grants Program and Funding Opportunities for the Hudson River Estuary

Two Funding Opportunities Now Available: Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA
Restoration of Watershed Connectivity RFP

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.

Tributary Restoration and Resiliency

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the availability of the 2017 competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants Program to help communities in the Hudson River estuary watershed improve water quality, increase flood resiliency, and conserve natural resources.


Approximately $1,000,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency. Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by the New York State (NYS) Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary Program. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award is $1,000,000.

What types of projects are requested?

  • To be eligible, projects must conserve and restore aquatic habitat connectivity for American eel and/or river herring found in the tributary streams of the Estuary watershed. Primary priority will be given to dam removal projects that are in close proximity to the Hudson, because of their importance for improving habitat for American eel and river herring. Projects must also be designed to pass, at a minimum, a 1% annual chance storm (100-year flood) to promote flood resiliency.
  • Examples of 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.
  • Engineering and planning projects for removal of dams affecting eel or herring migration anywhere in the estuary watershed are also eligible for funding.
  • 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.
  • Project timeline must show completion on or before February 29, 2020.
Shapp Pond Dam before the Dam was removed
Shapp Pond Dam after the dam was removed in 2016
The impaired Shapp Pond Dam on East Branch Wappinger
Creek in Dutchess County was removed in 2016 with funding
from an Estuary grant. The removal of the dam has
reconnected over 5 miles of stream habitat for species
such as the American eel.

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 at

To view the Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website). All grant applications must be completed online. Applications must be received in the Grants Gateway by 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 6.

Eligibility and Application Process for RFAs

Eligible applicants include municipalities (counties, cities, towns or villages) 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 Estuary Watershed Boundary Google Earth map.

All New York State (NYS) RFA 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. The registration form and instructions, along with additional information on the Grants Gateway, can be found in the Grantee (leaves DEC website)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.

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).The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (NYS DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program, is inviting proposals for projects that will help restore aquatic habitat connectivity for herring and eel, and reduce localized flood risks and conditions on Hudson River Estuary tributaries.

Questions and Answers

Questions about registration and prequalification through the Grants Gateway should be directed to 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.

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

Restoration of Watershed Connectivity

culvert that created flooding hazard
Many culverts create flooding hazards and are barriers to
aquatic organisms. Funding through this RFP will help
communities inventory and assess their culverts.

The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (leaves DEC's website) (NEIWPCC), in cooperation with the Hudson River Estuary Program, is inviting proposals for projects that will help restore aquatic habitat connectivity for herring and eel, and reduce localized flood risks and conditions on Hudson River Estuary tributaries. This Request for Proposals (RFP) will fund road-stream crossing assessments, prioritizing the mitigation of these crossings at a municipal scale, using existing assessments and designs for correcting inadequate road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges). The deadline for applications is April 14, 2017 at 12 noon.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

Three project types are identified in this RFP:

Project Type 1
Produce an inventory of road-stream crossings compiling field assessments of all culverts and bridges where a public road crosses a stream within a defined geographic area.

Project Type 2
Develop a municipal management plan for prioritizing and mitigating documented aquatic barriers (dams, bridges and culverts) to improve fish passage and reduce localized flooding caused by such barriers.

Project Type 3
Produce 100% engineering plans for mitigating a road-stream crossing that is a North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (leaves DEC's website) (NAACC) documented barrier to aquatic organisms. Each of the three project types have their own goals, scope of work, and deliverables.

Deteriorated stream crossing
Communities with existing inventories of road-stream crossings
may apply for funds to produce engineering to repair or replace


A total of $200,000 will be made available for this RFP. NEIWPCC expects to fund multiple projects from each of the three project lists. The estimated allocation of funds per category is: $50,000 for Project Type 1; $75,000 for Project Type 2; and $75,000 for Project Type 3.

Eligibility and RFP Application Process

For-profit organizations, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and municipalities are eligible to submit proposals in response to this RFP. If an applicant is not a municipality, a letter of support from the impacted municipality(ies) within the study area is highly recommended. All proposals must be submitted to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC).

For information regarding the application process, contact Mike Jennings, the NEIWPCC Project Manager:

Mike Jennings
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission 650 Suffolk Street, Suite 410
Lowell, MA 01854

For information regarding the project topic, contact:

Megan Lung
21 South Putt Corners Road New Paltz, NY 12561

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 $18.1 million has been distributed to 477 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