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For Release: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

$150,000 in Grants Now Available to Mohawk River

Municipalities and non-profits can now apply for $150,000 in grants to support implementation of the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda to improve water quality, flood resiliency and habitat, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced. The grants are funded by the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

"Grants for the Mohawk River Basin encourage and promote the development of economic and environmental projects consistent with Governor Cuomo's Mighty Waters work group," said Commissioner Martens. "DEC is committed to continue its focus on conserving, preserving and restoring the environmental quality of the Mohawk River and its watershed."

The grants will range from $5,000 - $10,000 for projects that implement the 2012-2016 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. The deadline to submit applications is November 21, 2014.

Previous Mohawk River grants have funded enhancement projects for recreational opportunities and the enjoyment of the river as well as water quality monitoring efforts by a local volunteer environmental study team. Past funding has also gone toward the research, writing, printing and distribution of guide books for use of the Mohawk River bike/hike trail in Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties.

DEC and its partners developed the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda to promote coordinated management of the environmental and cultural resources of the Mohawk River and its watershed. There are five key areas by which the Action Agenda defines its goals: fish & wildlife, water quality, flood hazard risk reduction, community revitalization, and working landscapes.

The Mohawk River has played an integral role in the history and development of New York State and the nation. Today the river not only continues to serve as an economic engine for the region, but also functions as a connector between several important natural resources where an abundance of wildlife thrives and where terrestrial habitats provide refuge for sensitive bird, reptile, amphibian and mammal populations. The Mohawk River and its watershed drain directly into the Hudson River, providing major upstream inputs that can impact the estuary and ultimately, the Atlantic Ocean.

In first round of mini-grants DEC awarded a total of more than $49,200. All projects awarded under the first round of grants have been successfully completed.

The Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda and application information can be found on DEC's Mohawk River webpage. The Action Agenda is part of Governor Cuomo's Mighty Waters cabinet-level work group which seeks to promote environmental sustainability and reduce the hazards of flooding in the Mohawk River Basin.

All grant applicants, including municipal governments and not-for-profit corporations, must be registered in the New York State Grants Gateway to be eligible to apply for any state grant opportunity. Not-for-profit applicants are also required to "prequalify' in the Grants Gateway system. The gateway is a one-stop location that streamlines the way grants are administered by New York State. Registration and prequalification can be completed online at www.grantsreform.ny.gov. Completed Mohawk River Basin grant applications must be developed and submitted online by November 21, 2014.

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