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For Release: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grants Awarded to Implement Green Infrastructure Stormwater Projects

New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded three grants totaling $185,754 for implementing green infrastructure demonstration projects to reduce flooding from stormwater, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

"The Hudson River Estuary Program is helping communities enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River and its Valley," said Commissioner Martens. "These grants will help the awarded areas in developing and implementing cleaner and greener communities."

"NEIWPCC is pleased to partner with NYSDEC on this program, so that water quality can be improved and flood risk can be reduced in the Hudson River Estuary Watershed," said Ron Poltak, NEIWPCC Executive Director. "These three projects are all performance-based, ecological, and sustainable. They will provide the localities involved with a less onerous and more attractive and efficient way to deal with the negative impacts of development."

Stormwater and street run-off are significant sources of water pollution for streams and rivers that flow to the Hudson estuary. Flooding caused by stormwater also affects local communities. This funding will help achieve goals of the 2010-2014 Hudson River Action Agenda by constructing innovative green infrastructure demonstration practices to reduce stormwater impacts on communities and in the streams that flow to the Hudson.

Green infrastructure is a new technique developed to allow rain to slowly soak into the ground instead of accumulating in driveways, parking lots and streets. Pilot projects include specially-designed rain gardens for trees, shrubs and flowers as well as permeable pavement and other methods which mimic the natural flow pattern of rain. This approach contrasts with traditional catch basins and pipes that quickly move rain water away from a site and into a stream, often resulting in flooded roads and polluted rivers.

Each project receiving funding will create valuable demonstration sites and will include outreach to help build momentum for green infrastructure in the region and showcase its advantages.

Grants will be awarded to the following organizations:

  • eDesign Dynamics, in partnership with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Fall Kill Watershed Committee, Urban Landscape Lab at Columbia University, LandMINE Studio, and Hudson River Housing - $99,944. This project will install rain gardens for trees, biological storm water retention areas and permeable pavers to accompany the redevelopment of a National Historic Landmark "Underwear Factory" (built in 1874) into residential units and commercial space in Poughkeepsie. This site is adjacent to the Fall Kill Creek, and the project will also create public access to the stream.
  • Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County and Lehman & Getz Consulting Engineers - $54,550. A stormwater planter and tree box filter will be constructed at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County office in Middletown, along with a rain garden and bioretention basin at the Warwick Central School District campus. The practices at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office will complement an existing rain garden, creating a diverse demonstration site for participants in stormwater management trainings.
  • Ulster County Department of the Environment - $31,260. This project will create a green infrastructure hub at the Ulster County office campus in Kingston by constructing a large rain garden and bioretention area with street trees. These will connect existing rain garden and pervious pavement installations. This project will replace more than 1,200 square feet of asphalt with green infrastructure trees and gardens and will help reduce the flooding on Pearl Street caused by minor storm events. It will reduce pollution to the Lower Esopus Creek.
    For more information on the grants awarded, contact Emily Vail, NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program, at 845-256-3145 or eevail@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

The Hudson River Estuary Program is a project of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.
Helping people enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River and its Valley
For more information on the Hudson River Estuary Program visit DEC's website.

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