Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

New York Ocean Action Plan

New York Ocean Action Plan Call for Research 2019-2021
Pre-proposals are due by April 16, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Click here for more information on the submission process.

Request for Applications: Funding Now Available for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency Projects
Application Deadline April 18, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
Click here for more information on the application process.

NY Ocean Action Plan Cover

The New York Ocean Action Plan was announced by Commissioner Seggos on January 23, 2017. Copies of the Ocean Action Plan (PDF, 3.8 MB), Ocean Action Plan Matrix, and press release are also available by calling 631-444-0430 or writing to NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources, 205 N Belle Mead Rd., Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733.

What is the New York Ocean Action Plan?

The New York Ocean Action Plan (OAP) is a coordinated and inclusive effort focused on improving the health of our ocean ecosystems and their capacity to provide sustainable benefits to New Yorkers. Together, scientists, resource managers, and a wide range of stakeholders will take stock of New York's ocean-related activities and programs. Through a ten-year, sixty-one point action plan, the goal of the OAP is to achieve better-managed and healthier ocean ecosystems that will benefit people, communities, and the natural world. Grounded in short-term actions to reach long-term goals, the OAP will guide State government funding, research, management, outreach, and education choices.

The OAP outlines the following four interconnected goals that reflect New York's priorities for immediate action:

Goal 1- Ensure the ecological integrity of the ocean ecosystem;
Goal 2- Promote economic growth, coastal development and human use of the ocean in a manner that is sustainable and consistent with maintaining ecosystem integrity;
Goal 3- Increase resilience of ocean resources of impacts associated with climate change;
Goal 4- Empower the public to actively participate in decision making and ocean stewardship.

The corresponding long-term objectives and specific actions outlined in the OAP were developed through a stakeholder process with a diverse array of stakeholders, many of whom we would expect to be partners and take the lead in implementing the identified actions.

More About the New York Ocean Action Plan:

The implementation of New York's Ocean Action Plan works to support the achievement of tasks and actions identified within the OAP itself. With the help of DEC sponsored programs, competitive research grants, and monitoring and data collection priorities, DEC can make well informed decisions in conserving our ocean resources. Many of the sixty-one Actions are underway. Following the timelines identified within the OAP, regular updates will be provided through a State of the Ocean Report. DEC and our partners are leading the nation in effective ocean management.

Use the left hand column above to take a closer look at some of the projects we are working on through the New York Ocean Action Plan!

Why Does New York Need an Ocean Action Plan?

Sand tiger shark. Photo courtesy of Brandon Puckett.
Sand tiger shark. Photo courtesy of Brandon Puckett.

New York's ocean resources face growing challenges. Changing ocean temperatures affect the health and distribution of valuable fish stocks, making efforts to sustainably manage our fisheries more difficult. In response to fishery and other management challenges, the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Council (Council) called for development of an OAP in its April 2009 report to the Governor and legislature. The Council recognized that current management can be improved by implementing a more comprehensive and integrated approach to ocean management.

What is Ecosystem-Based Management?

Ecosystem‐based management (EBM) is a comprehensive, place-based approach to resource management-distinctive from traditional approaches that manage resources individually. EBM recognizes that people are an integral part of any ecosystem and that ecosystems are vital in supporting human life. EBM also emphasizes the necessity of sound scientific understanding and strong partnerships to address complex and often contentious issues. Using EBM, New York can take a comprehensive look at its ocean and coastal resources, leading to better management decisions and healthier communities and ecosystems.

What Areas of the Ocean Does the Ocean Action Plan Address?

Map of the Ocean Action Plan focus area
Map of the Ocean Action Plan focus area.

The geographic area encompasses the State's ocean waters stretching from New York City to the end of Long Island, including ecological connections to offshore waters out to the edge of the continental shelf. Additionally, given the interconnectedness of ocean waters with nearshore waters, the ecological relationship with several estuaries and their habitats will also be examined: the Peconic, Hudson River, and NY-NJ Harbor Estuaries, Long Island Sound, and the lagoonal bays of the south shore of Long Island-Great South Bay, Jamaica Bay, Moriches Bay, Hempstead Bay, and Shinnecock Bay.

How does the Ocean Action Plan relate to the New York Coastal Management Program's Atlantic Ocean Amendment?

The New York Department of State, working with stakeholders and State and federal partners, is mapping offshore uses and compiling resource data to identify offshore habitat areas and locations that may be best suited for offshore wind energy development. The Atlantic Ocean Amendment to the State's federally approved Coastal Management Program will provide information for a stronger New York voice in decisions on proposed federal actions in the ocean, including projects proposed well beyond State waters. The OAP will help to inform future Amendments to the State's Coastal Program.

Who is Leading the Ocean Action Plan Process?

The DEC and DOS are coordinating the implementation of the OAP. For more information please contact Sherryll Huber Jones at 631-444-0448 or Gregory Capobianco at 518-474-8811. You may also email with the subject line "Ocean Action Plan".

Call for Ocean Research Proposals

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is pleased to announce the New York Ocean Action Plan Call for Research 2019-2021 Addressing Portions of the New York Ocean Action Plan (OAP). Through collaboration with municipal, regional and federal government agencies, scientific and academic partners, industry, the public and other ocean stakeholders, the State has begun the implementation of the New York State Ocean Action Plan.

The OAP calls for an integrated and adaptive approach where ocean management decisions are informed by the best available science. This call defines the initial topical research priorities to OAP implementation. NYSG is partnering with NYSDEC in administering this Call. Research in many disciplines, including biology, chemistry, geology, physical oceanography, engineering, social science and others, will be appropriate.

Submission Deadline

Pre-proposals are due by 4:30 PM on Monday, April 16, 2018. Any submissions that are incomplete or received after the final deadline will not be accepted. You are encouraged to apply early! Submissions via e-mail or hard copy are not accepted.


New York State has made increased funding available through the Environmental Protection Fund, Ocean and Great Lakes Program to support the restoration, conservation, resiliency and sustainable use of New York's ocean ecosystem.

Funding will be provided in two year intervals, beginning January 01, 2019.

How to Apply

Visit (link leaves DEC website) and click on the links in the "Related Links" box to download and read the Call. It provides details about the Call and instructions for preparing your pre-proposal. Also available is a blank pre-proposal document template to use.

When ready to submit your pre-proposal, return to (link leaves DEC website) and click the 'Apply Now' button. Fill in all required fields of the form and upload your pre-proposal as a single PDF. Be sure that your pre-proposal has all required sections and follows required formatting as detailed in section VII (Pre-Proposal Submission Form Instructions) of the Call.


Contact NYSG Director William Wise at

Request For Applications: 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 and the marine habitat priority areas. The information below provides details about applying for projects in the marine habitat priority areas which include Jamaica Bay, and the watersheds of Long Island Sound, the Peconic Estuary, and the South Shore Estuary Reserve.

Funding through this RFA is also available for projects in the Hudson River estuary watershed. Information about the funding, projects, and the geographic boundaries of the Hudson River estuary watershed may be found on the website of the Hudson River Estuary Program.


Approximately $375,000 is available in Marine Habitat Tributary Restoration and Resiliency grants. Funding for this grant opportunity is provided by the New York State (NYS) Environmental Protection Fund, Ocean and Great Lakes Program.

The minimum award amount is $10,500 and the maximum award is $375,000.

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 Jamaica Bay, and the watersheds of Long Island Sound, the Peconic Estuary, and the South Shore Estuary Reserve. Primary priority will be given to a shovel-ready projects that remove dams affecting eel or herring migration on tributaries, within tributary watersheds in the geographic areas of this RFA. With the exception of projects involving fish ladders, 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; right-sizing of culverts, and construction of fish ladders.
  • Engineering and planning projects for removal of dams, culvert mitigation/right-sizing, and construction of fish ladders affecting eel or herring migration on the identified tributaries are also eligible for funding.
  • Project timeline must show completion on or before September 30, 2021.

To view the Tributary Restoration and Resiliency RFA, please visit the NYS Grants Gateway (link leaves DEC website). All grant applications must be completed online. Applications must be received in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18.

Who may apply?

Division of Marine Resources Priority Areas

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 Division of Marine Resources Priority Areas.

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 (link leaves DEC 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 (link leaves DEC website) section of the NYS Grants Reform website (link 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 (link 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 (link leaves DEC website).

Questions about the 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

More about New York Ocean Action Plan: