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Grants Program and Funding Opportunities for the Hudson River Estuary

Request for Applications: Tributary Restoration and Resiliency, Application Deadline April 18, 2018
Request for Proposals: Restoration of Watershed Connectivity, Application Deadline March 30, 2018

Funding Opportunities through the Hudson River Estuary Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 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 Requests for Applications (RFAs) or as Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

Tributary Restoration and Resiliency

DEC is pleased to announce funding for projects to help restore free-flowing waters to benefit water quality, conserve and restore habitat, and increase flood resiliency for communities in the Hudson River estuary watershed. The information below provides details about applying for projects in the Hudson River estuary watershed.

Funding through this RFA is also available for projects in Marine Habitat Priority Areas which include Jamaica Bay, and the watersheds of Long Island Sound, the Peconic Estuary, and the South Shore Estuary Reserve. Information about the funding, projects, and geographic boundaries for marine priority areas may be found on the website of the New York Ocean Action Plan.


Approximately $1,025,000 is available in Hudson River Estuary Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency. Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary Program and Ocean Great Lakes Program. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award is $1,025,000.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

  • To be eligible, projects must conserve and restore aquatic habitat connectivity for American eel and/or river herring found in the tributary streams of the Hudson River estuary watershed. Primary priority will be given to dam removal projects that are in close proximity to the Hudson, because of their importance for improving habitat for American eel and river herring. Projects must also be designed to pass, at a minimum, a 1% annual chance storm (100-year flood) to promote flood resiliency.
  • Examples of projects which improve aquatic connectivity are: removal of dams; restoration of perched culverts to grade; replacement of culverts to reestablish natural stream-bottom conditions; and right-sizing of bridges and culverts.
  • Engineering and planning projects for removal of dams affecting eel or herring migration anywhere in the estuary watershed are also eligible for funding.
  • Project timeline must show completion on or before September 30, 2021.
A green pond sourrounded by trees with an old dam on the creek

Creek with clean flowing water were a dam used to be.
The impaired Shapp Pond Dam on East Wappinger Creek in
Dutchess County was removed in 2016 with funding from an
Estuary Program grant. The removal of the dam has
reconnected over 5 miles of stream habitat for species such
as the American eel.

DEC has identified many aquatic barriers throughout the grant boundary. For the most up-to-date information about known aquatic barriers, please visit Cornell Water Resources Institute Aquatic Connectivity and Barrier Removal web page (link leaves DEC website).

To view the Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website). All grant applications must be completed online. Applications must be received in the Grants Gateway by Wednesday, April 18 at 3 p.m.

Who may apply?

Eligible applicants include Governmental Entities, Municipalities, and Quasi-Governmental Entities, including but not limited to Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages, or Indian nation or tribe recognized by the state or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, or any combination thereof, Public Benefit Corporations, Public Authorities, Municipal Corporations, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, School Districts, and Community Colleges, and not-for-profit corporations with a 501(c)(3) designation. Projects eligible for state assistance must be located within the Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF, 1.6 MB). To find out if your project is located within these boundaries, please type the location of the project into this Estuary Watershed Boundary Google Earth map.

How do I apply?

All New York State (NYS) grant applicants - both governmental and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations - must be registered in the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC's website) to be eligible to apply for any NYS grant opportunity. The registration form and instructions, along with additional information on the Grants Gateway, can be found in the Grantee (leaves DEC website)section of the NYS Grants Reform website (leaves DEC website). Registration is not available online. Registration forms must be mailed and cannot be submitted online or faxed. Register early to allow sufficient time for processing.

Not-For-Profit applicants must prequalify in the Grants Gateway system prior to the application deadline to be considered eligible to apply for a grant. Registration and prequalification must be completed online at the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC's website).

Questions and Answers

Questions about registration and prequalification through the Grants Gateway should be directed to Step-by-step tutorials and guides to registration and prequalification are available at the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC's website).

Questions about the 2018 Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA should be directed to the contact below.

Susan Pepe
Grants Manager
NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-3506

Restoration of Watershed Connectivity

Many culverts create flooding hazards and are barriers to aquatic life.

The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (leaves DEC's website) (NEIWPCC), in cooperation 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) will fund road-stream crossing assessments, prioritizing the mitigation of these crossings at a municipal scale, using existing assessments and designs for correcting inadequate road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges).

The deadline for applications March 30, 2018 at 12 noon. A total of $210,000 will be made available for this RFP. The minimum amount awarded to proposals will be $100,000. We expect to fund one or two proposals through this RFP.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

NEIWPCC is accepting proposals to create municipal management plans that document and prioritize road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) that have been assessed following the protocol of the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC). For purposes of this RFP, each management plan would, at a minimum, prioritize road-stream crossings that will benefit migratory fish (herring and eel) and identify opportunities for reducing local flooding hazards at locations prioritized for migratory fish. For each municipality, the management plan should include, at least, three conceptual-level barrier mitigation designs and at least one 100% shovel-ready design for mitigation. The plan may also address other community priorities, such as the age of the infrastructure or importance of the road.

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 the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (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 )

Estuary Grants Program History

Grants for Local Partners

Since 1999, New York State DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program has offered grants to municipalities and non-profits located within its Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF, 1.6 MB). Over the past decade over $18.1 million has been distributed to 477 applicants. The funding for this program is 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.

Free kayak program 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