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For Release: Monday, May 1, 2017

DEC Announces $670,000 Hudson River Estuary Grants

Hudson River Estuary Grants Will Improve Water Quality and Enhance River Access

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that $670,000 in new competitive grant funding is available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary improve recreational access and design projects to increase resiliency to flooding, protect water quality, and enhance natural resources. The grants support the goals of DEC's 2015-2020 Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda.

"Working with local communities, environmental groups, and civic organizations, New York has significantly improved the environmental health of the Hudson River Estuary," Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Governor Cuomo has made important investments to improve community resiliency and to create new and expanded recreation access for people of all abilities. These grants provide another boost to the Hudson River and watershed communities."

Approximately $220,000 is available in the River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities Request for Applications for projects along the shoreline of the estuary that provide improved accessibility at existing access sites for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-dependent recreation or educational interpretation of the estuary for people of all abilities, particularly to make improvements for people with disabilities.

An additional $450,000 is available in the Local Stewardship Planning Request for Applications to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed become more resilient, provide clean water, support sustainable fish and wildlife habitats, and conserve natural scenery.

The deadline for applications is July 12, 2017 at 3 p.m. The Requests for Applications (RFA) for "Local Stewardship Planning" and "River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities" are available online through the NYS Grants Gateway (link leaves DEC's website) website. Applicants may apply to one or both of the grant programs. The Grants Gateway is a web-based grants-management system that streamlines the way grants are administered by the State of New York. The "Local Stewardship Planning" and "River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities" RFAs include the application, instructions, and detailed eligibility criteria. General information about the grants is also available on DEC's website.

All grant applicants, including government agencies 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. Prequalification must be completed by July 12, 2017 at 3 p.m.

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. To date, the Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded 477 grants totaling $18,126,015. The grants are provided through New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and will be administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.

Eligible project types for Local Stewardship Planning Grants, $450,000

The minimum grant award is $10,500 and the maximum award is $50,000. Additional points are given to projects in environmental justice areas and projects that support regional economic development strategies. The six categories of local projects and programs support planning for:

  • Hudson River shoreline communities to adapt land uses and decision-making to factor in climate change, flooding, drought, and sea-level rise projections;
  • Making water infrastructure more resilient to flooding and/or sea-level rise;
  • Using green infrastructure practices as a means to reduce combined sewer overflows or sanitary sewer overflows.
  • Watershed management planning within Hudson River tributary, a tributary sub-watershed or source-watershed;
  • Conservation of natural resources by creating a natural resources inventory, open space inventory/index, or open space plan; and
  • Conservation and stewardship of natural scenery and natural vistas.

Eligible project types for River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities $220,000

The minimum grant award is $10,500 and the maximum award is $50,000. Additional points are given to projects in environmental justice areas and projects which support regional economic development strategies.

Hudson River Shoreline Access Retrofits for projects on the shoreline of the tidal waters of the Hudson River estuary, including the tidal portion of its tributaries, to develop, retrofit, repair, or make improvements to existing river access sites to improve access for people of all abilities for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-related recreation or educational interpretation of the estuary for people of all abilities on and along the estuary.

Assessing and Planning for Accessibility Improvements for projects that propose ADA designs, plans, assessments and ADA transition planning for existing access sites along the Hudson River estuary. Such plans must specifically lead to improving the use of the site for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-related recreation or educational interpretation of the estuary for people of all abilities.

The Hudson River Estuary Program helps people enjoy, protect, and revitalize the Hudson River and its valley. Created in 1987, the program focuses on the tidal Hudson and its adjacent watershed from the dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City.

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