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Grants Program and Funding Opportunities for the Hudson River Estuary

Request for Proposals: Restoration of Watershed Connectivity: Deadline August 2, 2019
River Access and River Education Grants Now Available: Deadline August 14, 2019
Grants Program Reporting Documents Now Online

DEC provides funding through the Hudson River Estuary Program to implement priorities outlined in the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda aimed at conserving or improving clean water; fish, wildlife and their habitats; waterway access; the resiliency of communities; and river scenery. These opportunities are announced as Hudson River Estuary Grants Program Request for Applications (RFAs) or as New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission Request for Proposals (RFPs).

Estuary Watershed Boundaries

Projects eligible for funding must be located within the Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF, 1.6 MB). To find out if a potential project is located within these boundaries, please type the location of the project into this Hudson River Estuary Grant Program boundaries Google Earth map.

Restoration of Watershed Connectivity: Request for Proposals

The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (leaves DEC's website), in partnership with the Hudson River Estuary Program, is inviting proposals for projects that will help restore aquatic habitat connectivity for herring and eel, reduce localized flood risks, and improve conditions on Hudson River Estuary tributaries. This Request for Proposals (RFP) is to help municipalities develop municipal management plans and designs to repair or replace inadequate road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) and to prioritize sites that cause flooding and are barriers to fish movement.

Neighboring municipalities are encouraged to work together to plan on a watershed scale, especially if they share a tributary to the Hudson in common. A successful project will engage at least two municipalities. The project will also develop at least two conceptual construction designs, and one final construction design for priority sites for each municipality. Approximately $215,000 is available for this RFP. The deadline for applications is August 2, 2019 at 12 noon.

Eligibility and RFP Application Process

For-profit organizations, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and municipalities are eligible to submit proposals in response to this RFP. If an applicant is not a municipality, a letter of support from the impacted municipality(ies) within the study area is highly recommended. All proposals must be submitted to NEIWPCC. Projects must be within the Hudson River Estuary watershed, from the Federal Dam at Troy to the Verazzano Narrows. See Estuary Watershed Boundaries, (PDF, 1.6 MB)

River Access: Request for Applications

Approximately $200,000 is available in the RFA for River Access for projects along the shoreline of the Hudson estuary, including the tidal portion of its tributaries, that provide new or improved accessibility at new or existing access sites for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-dependent recreation. The minimum grant award is $10,500 and the maximum grant amount is $50,000. This funding is from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Read the RFA for River Access (PDF).

Eligible Projects

  • New Hudson River Shoreline Access including the tidal portion of its tributaries, to plan, design and/or construct new access sites for fishing, swimming, boating and/or wildlife-dependent recreation.

  • Hudson River Shoreline Access Retrofits for projects to improve existing access to the Hudson River estuary to make sites more resilient to erosion, tidal flooding, and sea-level rise; and to improve access for people of all abilities for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-related recreation or educational interpretation of the estuary.

  • Boats for access to the river to purchase, construct, or repair human-powered small craft (canoes, kayaks, rowboats) used to get the public out on the tidal waters of the estuary, including adaptive equipment (such as outriggers).

  • 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.

  • Regional Plans for River Access that propose plans or designs, or development of handbooks, for improving access to the Hudson River Estuary and/or storm resiliency and/or use for people of all abilities.

River Access Application and Deadline

To apply to the River Access RFA (includes complete eligibility requirements, project descriptions, prequalification information, and application instructions) visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website). Search for Hudson River Estuary, River Access (Round 30). All applications for River Access grants must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on August 14, 2019, including uploading required program documents and forms.

River Education: Request for Applications

Approximately $200,000 is available in the River Education RFA to support projects and plans to enhance education about the estuary along the tidal waters of the Hudson or relevant portions of New York Harbor to make opportunities to learn about the Hudson River Estuary more accessible to a wide-range of people. The minimum grant award is $10,500 and the maximum grant amount is $40,000. This funding is from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Read the River Education RFA (PDF).

Eligible Projects


Funding from an Estuary Program grant helped restore
the Hudson River Sloop Woody Guthrie, which is used
as a floating classroom.
  • Hudson River shoreline facilities for education about the Hudson River Estuary to plan, design, equip and/or construct facilities (including signage, exhibits, and art installations) to be used for education of students, families, tourists and residents.

  • Resources for education about the Hudson River Estuary including equipment, materials, transportation equipment, or other capital investments that will be used to help students, families, tourists and residents, learn about the estuary.

  • Boats used for education about the River to purchase, construct or repair vessels specifically used as floating classrooms with education programming focused on estuarine ecology, natural history, or water quality.

  • Internet-based learning about the Estuary for projects that use the internet, web applications for mobile devices, and social media to expand the audience for science-based information about the natural history of the Hudson estuary.

  • Curriculum development to create new curriculum, improve, or build on existing curriculum linked to the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda, as well as professional development programs aimed at formal or informal educators that use such curriculum.

River Education Application and Deadline

To apply to the River Education RFA (includes complete eligibility requirements, project descriptions, prequalification information, and the application instructions) please visit NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for Hudson River Estuary or River Education (Round 29). All applications for River Education grants must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on August 14, 2019, including uploading required program documents and forms.

NYS Grants Gateway Questions

Questions about registration and prequalification through the Grants Gateway should be directed to GrantsReform@its.ny.gov. Step-by-step tutorials and guides to registration and prequalification are available at NYS Grants Management (leaves DEC website).

General Questions

Questions about the Estuary Grants Program should be directed to the contact below:
Susan Pepe
Grants Manager
NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
625 Broadway

Grants Program Reporting

Reporting is required on a quarterly basis for all Hudson River Estuary Program grants. Quarters are based on the New York State fiscal year, deadlines as follows: July 30 (for April 1 - June 30); October 30 (for July 1 - September 30); January 30 (for October 1 - December 31); April 30 (for January 1 - March 31). Quarterly reports consist of a technical narrative (progress report), and an invoice (financial report). Reports must be submitted electronically to Susan Pepe (susan.pepe@dec.ny.gov). Guidelines and associated forms are as follows:

Grant Reporting Categories Grant Reporting Forms
Quarterly Progress Report
  • Progress Report Form
  • Include any addendums/attachments that may be necessary (e.g. draft deliverables, meeting agendas or minutes, etc.)
Quarterly Financial Report (see Financial Report Guidelines, PDF)
Additional Financial Report Templates (use as needed, depending on the project)
Final Report (see Final Report Guidelines, PDF)

Grants Program History

Grants for Local Partners

Since 1999, DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program has offered grants to municipalities and non-profits located within its Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF). More than $19.4 million had been distributed to 495 applicants as of year's end, 2017. The funding for this program is primarily from New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

The Estuary Grants were created to help fulfill those goals of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda that can be implemented most effectively by municipalities, not for profits, and other local partners.

two young women in a kayak with an assist from a worker at the 72nd Street boat dock
The creation of this dock for the 72nd Street
free kayak program that serves more than
8,000 people every year was made possible
through an Estuary Program Grant
Past Recipients and Their Projects