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For Release: Friday, June 29, 2012

DEC: Grants Available For Mohawk River Basin Projects

Grants of up to $10,000 are available to municipalities and not-for-profit corporations to implement the interim Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The deadline for applying is July 20.

A total of $50,000 is available from the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for projects on the Mohawk River. The minimum grant award an applicant can request is $5,000 and the maximum is $10,000.

"Under the direction of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, DEC and Department of State created a working group earlier this month to promote economic revitalization and environmental sustainability in the Mohawk River Valley area," said Commissioner Martens. "The working group will further the goals of the Mighty Waters Initiative and support the work of the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region Economic Development Councils to promote economic development. These grants will help encourage municipal and not-for-profit efforts to promote economic and environmental projects consistent with both the Mighty Waters Initiative and the Economic Development Council's work in the Mohawk Basin."

The interim Mohawk River Action Agenda establishes a framework to help protect Mohawk River Valley communities from flooding while expanding recreational opportunities and improving water quality and habitat. Grant projects should be linked to one of the five goals, and associated targets of the 2012-2016 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda which are to:

  1. Understand and manage fish, wildlife and their habitats.
  2. Protect and improve water quality in the Mohawk River watershed.
  3. Reduce the consequences of flooding events on Mohawk River Valley communities.
  4. Revitalize Mohawk Valley communities using sustainable development principles.
  5. Maintain working landscapes, by sustaining the agricultural economy, rural land use and open space in the Mohawk Valley while protecting the natural environment.

Project success should not depend on funding that is not yet secured. All projects must have defined measurable outcomes or deliverables that can be completed and invoiced within one year of contract approval.

Eligible projects that could be completed within one year of contract approval may include: purchase of floating docks to expand river access; publication of training manuals; supplies and equipment for citizen stewardship; distribution of maps, exhibits, plans, publications or interpretive signage; purchase of equipment to facilitate citizen tree planting projects; and land conservation assistance. The Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda can be viewed on the DEC website.

"Sustainable revitalization of the Mohawk Valley is the key to our State's future," said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. "The Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda is consistent with the Mighty Waters Initiative to promote a more economically independent, community friendly and environmentally sustainable Mohawk Valley region."

Congressman Richard Hanna said: "I commend Governor Cuomo and the State for prioritizing the needs of the Mohawk River Basin - particularly when it comes to flood mitigation. After devastating flooding in 2006 and again in 2011, it became clear that our priorities needed to shift from recovery to prevention. This announcement represents a strong step to address the root of the problem and protect residents, homes, and businesses throughout the Mohawk Valley from future disasters. I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor on this critical public safety issue."

Congressman Paul Tonko said: "The Mohawk River and Erie Canal represent the ink that wrote our nation's history. After the devastating impacts of last summer's floods, these grants are an opportunity to write a new chapter - one that creates jobs, promotes waterfront development and lessons the chance of future flooding. I commend Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens for their leadership on this issue and am pleased to see the work of my Mighty Waters Task Force begin to come to fruition."

Grant application forms are available on DEC's website. For a paper copy, please contact Jill Shaw, Grants Manager at DEC's Albany Office at 518-402-8270. Completed grant applications should be submitted by mail to Jill Shaw, Grants Manager, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4751.

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