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Grants Program and Funding Opportunities for the Hudson River Estuary

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 Hudson River Estuary Grants Program Request for Applications (RFAs) or as New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission Request for Proposals (RFPs). Funding for these grant opportunities is provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

Local Stewardship Planning

Approximately $350,000 is now available for Local Stewardship Planning. This Request For Applications (RFA) will help Hudson River Estuary watershed communities and organizations design projects to increase resiliency to flooding, protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and natural resources. The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award amount is $50,000.

Eligible Projects

Image of three people taking part in Local Stewardship Planning

Local organizations and communities may apply to advance five categories of projects and programs through planning, feasibility studies, and/or design:

  1. Adapting land uses and decision-making to factor in climate change, flooding, heat, drought, and sea-level rise projections in Hudson River shoreline communities.
  2. Making water infrastructure more resilient to flooding and/or sea-level rise;
  3. Using green infrastructure practices as a means to reduce combined sewer overflows;
  4. Watershed and source water management planning
  5. Creating a natural resources inventory, open space inventory/index, open space plan, or open space funding feasibility study.

To view the "Local Stewardship Planning" RFA with eligibility requirements, the application, and instructions, please visit NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) and search for Hudson River Estuary or 'Local Stewardship Planning' (Round 24).

Local Stewardship Application Deadline

All applications for "Local Stewardship Planning" must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on July 11, 2018, including uploading required program documents and forms. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications at least two business days in advance of the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be eligible for review. Applicants may submit up to 3 applications. However, the applications may not be for the same project or project location.

Questions about this grant opportunity will be accepted until close-of-business July 5, 2018. All questions and answers will be posted continuously in the New York State Grants Gateway for all applicants to review. Questions should be directed to Susan Pepe at

Who may apply?

Eligible applicants include governmental entities, municipalities, and quasi-governmental entities (a local public authority or public benefit corporation, a county, city, town, village, or Indian tribe or nation residing within New York State, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts, school districts, community colleges, or any combination thereof), 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 Hudson River Estuary Grant Program boundaries 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.

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).

NYS Grants Gateway Questions

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).

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
Albany, NY 12233-3506

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). 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.

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