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For Release: Friday, June 22, 2018

DEC Announces $1.1 Million in Grants for Hudson River Estuary Communities

Grants Will Enhance River Access and Education

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that more than $1.1 million in new competitive grant funding is now available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary design and improve recreational access and enhance education for people of all ages and abilities.

"This funding supports Governor Cuomo's important investments to create new and expanded recreation opportunities for people of all abilities and provide increased access to New York's natural resources," Commissioner Seggos said. "New York's investments in our estuary programs support local communities to create a more sustainable environment while increasing resiliency to extreme weather and flooding.

Approximately $950,000 is available for projects to provide new or improved accessibility at new or existing access sites for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-dependent recreation along the shoreline of the Hudson estuary. This funding is being made available by the State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and the Natural Resources Damages Fund (NRD).

$165,000 is available to support projects to enhance education about the estuary along the tidal waters of the Hudson and make opportunities to learn about the Hudson River Estuary more accessible to a wide range of people. This funding may be used to support development of plans or curriculum, purchase of equipment, development of web sites or mobile phone apps, and/or construction of physical improvements.

The deadline for applications is August 22, 2018 at 3 p.m. Requests for Applications (RFAs) for "River Education" and "River Access" are available online through the NYS Grants Gateway. 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 New York State. The River Education and River Access RFAs include the application, instructions, and detailed eligibility criteria. General information about the grants program is also available on the DEC website.

In the 2018-19 State Budget, Governor Cuomo sustained the record-high EPF at $300 million for the third year in a row, providing funding for open space conservation, parkland stewardship, and other environmental protection projects, including grants to reduce flooding and restore the Hudson River Estuary.

Projects eligible for Hudson River Estuary Access: EPF, $200,000
Funding is available for the following types of projects to improve access to the tidal waters of the Hudson and may be used to support development of plans, purchase of equipment, and/or construction of physical improvements. The minimum grant award is $10,500, and the maximum grant amount is $50,000.

River Access projects for the Villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown: NRD, $750,000
Funding from the NRD Fund is available for projects on publicly accessible lands in the villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. Projects may include planning, but must also include a shovel-ready component. The minimum grant amount is $10,500, maximum grant amount is $375,000.

River Education: EPF, $165,000
Funding is available to support projects and plans to enhance education about the estuary along the tidal waters of the Hudson and to make opportunities to learn about the Hudson River Estuary more accessible and inclusive of individuals with diverse needs and abilities.

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 State grant opportunities. Not-for-profit applicants are required to "prequalify" in the Grants Gateway system. Prequalification must be completed by August 22, 2018, at 3 p.m.

General questions about the Hudson River Estuary grants application process may be directed to Susan Pepe, Estuary Grants Manager, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3506; HREPgrants@dec.ny.gov. To date, the Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded 495 grants totaling $19,379,639. The grants are provided through New York's EPF and will be administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.

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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