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For Release: Friday, January 27, 2017

DEC Announces $1 Million Grant Funding to Improve Water Quality, Bolster Flood Resiliency in Hudson River Estuary Watershed

Grants Will Help Hudson River Communities Remove Dams and Restore Habitats for American Eel and River Herring

Approximately $1,000,000 in grant funding is available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed improve water quality, increase flood resiliency, and conserve natural resources, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The funding is provided by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and is administered under DEC's 2017 Hudson River Estuary Grants Program for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency.

"We are committed to creating resilient communities in New York State and DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program is making this vision a reality with these grants," Commissioner Seggos said. "With these grants, local communities are helping create a more sustainable environment and protect and preserve New York's natural resources. To date, the Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded 477 grants totaling $18.1 million."

The Tributary Restoration and Resiliency grants will help Hudson communities remove dams to restore aquatic habitat connectivity for American eel and/or river herring found in tributary streams of the estuary. The grants are also intended to help communities with existing and projected impacts of localized flooding along tributaries of the estuary by removing constrictions.

To be eligible for this funding, projects must conserve and restore aquatic habitat connectivity for American eel and/or river herring found in the tributary streams of the Hudson River estuary watershed. Projects must also be designed to pass, at a minimum, a one percent annual chance storm (100-year flood) to promote flood resiliency. 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. Engineering and planning projects for removal of dams and for right-sizing of culverts affecting eel or herring migration anywhere in the estuary watershed are also eligible for funding.

A map of identified and prioritized barriers can be viewed at online at DEC's website. The minimum grant award is $10,500 and the maximum award is $1,000,000. The application deadline is 3:00 p.m. on April 6, 2017.

Now in its 15th year, the Estuary Grants Program implements priorities outlined in DEC's Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda: clean water; resilient communities; a vital estuary ecosystem; estuary fish, wildlife and habitats; natural scenery; and education, river access, recreation, and inspiration. To view the Action Agenda and for complete details about the new grant funding, visit this page on the DEC website.

The DEC Hudson River Estuary Program 2017 Request for Applications (RFA) is available online through the NYS Grants Gateway website. The Grants Gateway is an online grants management system that streamlines the way grants are administered by the State of New York. All grant applicants, including governmental entities and not-for-profit corporations, must be registered in the NYS Grants Gateway to be eligible to apply for any state grant opportunity. Not-For-Profit applicants are required to "prequalify" in the Grants Gateway system. Registration and prequalification forms are available online at the NYS Grants Reform website.

General information about these grants is also available on DEC's website. Completed grant applications must be submitted online through the Grants Gateway by 3 p.m. on April 6, 2017. General questions about the Hudson River Estuary grants application process may be directed to Susan Pepe, DEC's Estuary Grants Manager, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3506; HREPgrants@dec.ny.gov.

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