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For Release: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

DEC Announces $902,888 in Grants to Hudson River Estuary Watershed Communities

Grants Awarded to 24 Projects to Enhance River Access and Education and Promote Environmental Stewardship

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced grant awards totaling $902,888 for 24 projects to help communities along the Hudson River Estuary design and improve recreational access, enhance education about the river, and advance stewardship of natural resources.

"The Hudson River is a vital part of New York's identity and one of our defining natural assets," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "With the State's steadfast support and investments, many riverfront communities are pursuing projects that advance stewardship of their natural resources, such as sustainable shoreline techniques, source water protection, and green infrastructure planning. These grant awards build on local conservation efforts and priorities by advancing new possibilities for nature-based tourism and its associated economic benefits."

The grant program is funded by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program. In the 2018-19 State Budget, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sustained the record-high EPF at $300 million for the third year in a row, providing funding for open space conservation, parkland stewardship, and other environmental protection projects, including grants to reduce flooding and restore the Hudson River Estuary.

Grant recipients listed by region are included below:

CAPITAL REGION

Albany County

  • City of Albany - $42,000; Hudson River Shoreline Stabilization Study will assess the condition of its Hudson River shoreline, evaluate alternatives for shore stabilization, and recommend potential projects to improve access.
  • Pace University - $36,649: Albany County's community-based watershed Land Use Leadership Alliance Training (LULA) Program for Albany County to provide targeted policy, planning, and regulatory tools for natural resource and open space protection, watershed planning, and shoreline resiliency.

Columbia County

  • Columbia Land Conservancy, Inc - $39,984: Place-Based Estuary Education at Greenport Conservation Area will develop place-based lessons about stream buffers, wetlands, and the wildlife that live in these zones, and will install interpretive signage about the natural resources of the estuary at its Greenport Conservation Area.
  • Trout Unlimited, Inc. - $49,855: Town of Taghkanic Road-Stream Crossing Replacement Plan will guide future culvert replacements to reconnect high-quality aquatic habitat and improve community flood resiliency and road infrastructure conditions within the Town of Taghkanic.

Rensselaer County

  • Village of Castleton-on-Hudson - $50,000: Planning for Riverfront Park will include planning, preparation of permits, and construction plans for public access to the Hudson River at Riverfront Park, a village-owned parcel on the east bank of the Hudson.

MID-HUDSON VALLEY

Dutchess County

  • Poughkeepsie Highland Railroad Bridge Co. Inc. - $27,750: Hudson River Estuary Education Initiative on the Walkway Over the Hudson will update and enhance environmental and ecological information about the Hudson River estuary, the Fall Kill Creek, and the surrounding region on signage and through mobile audio stories and tours on the Walkway Over the Hudson.

Orange County

  • Orange County Water Authority - $20,000: Newburgh Area Source Water Protection Initiative will partner with Riverkeeper and Orange County Planning Department to develop and implement a strategic plan to build a diverse coalition of people to support research, monitoring, education, and long-term protection of the Newburgh area source-water watershed.
  • Riverkeeper Inc. (Orange and Ulster) - $50,000: Supporting Wallkill River Water Quality Improvements through watershed planning work with the Wallkill River Watershed Alliance to summarize and report 2017- 2018 Walkill water-quality data for use in outreach to local municipalities about sources of pollution.
  • Town of New Windsor - $25,500: Plum Point Park Fishing Pier (Planning, Design, and Permitting) will complete planning, design, and permitting of a fishing pier in Plum Point Park, a 6.8-acre town park located along the Hudson River.
  • Hudson River Sloop Clearwater - $37,700 (Orange and Ulster): River Climate Change Curriculum Project for Newburgh and Kingston in which the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater will create curriculum and an online toolkit about climate change and will pilot climate programs for teachers and students in the cities of Newburgh and Kingston.

Putnam County

  • National Audubon Society Inc. - $12,950: Educational Equipment Replacement and Upgrade at the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary. The National Audubon Society will improve or replace equipment and teaching tools used for programs about the natural history and conservation of the Hudson River Estuary.

Rockland County

  • The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York - $39,244: Developing Your Voice in Our Hudson River Story at the Lamont Hudson River Field Station. The Lamont Hudson River Field Station will develop new interior displays and educational content about the Hudson River to enhance community outreach, teacher workshops, and school programs at its the field station on Piermont Pier.
  • Village of Piermont - $49,285 (Rockland, Ulster, and Greene): Hudson River Flood Resilience Network. The villages of Piermont and Catskill and the city of Kingston will lead a collaborative network of waterfront communities to share information about flood resilience actions and how to adapt land use planning and decision-making to decrease waterfront vulnerability to sea-level rise and flooding.

Ulster County

  • Town of Esopus - $50,000: Esopus Riverfront: Access and Connections Study will evaluate opportunities for new and improved access to the Hudson River and Rondout Creek, particularly to strengthen connections along the Esopus shoreline to regional trails, including the Hudson River Valley Greenway Water Trail and the John Burroughs Black Creek Trail.
  • Arm of the Sea Productions Inc. - $39,580: Resilient Structures for Arm-of-the-Sea's Tidewater Center will plan for, obtain permits, and construct two facilities for public access, recreation, and programming at its emerging Tidewater Center in Saugerties.
  • Hudson River Maritime Museum - $40,000: Hudson River Maritime Museum Climate Change Education Project will integrate information about climate change and its impacts on the Hudson River estuary throughout the museum's exhibits, and will install signs about flooding and sea-level rise along the Rondout Creek.

Westchester County

  • Cortlandt Community Rowing Association - $50,000: Cortlandt Rowing Hangar Rehabilitation will develop engineering plans to replace the interior steel support structures of a seaplane hangar and construct moveable doors, in order to adapt the building for use as a boathouse for rowing shells.
  • The Research Foundation of CUNY, Hunter College - $47,255: Westchester County Forest Inventory: Mapping and Ecosystem Services Assessment in which CUNY will partner with Westchester County, Westchester Land Trust, and Sustainable Westchester to develop spatial maps showing changes over time in forest cover and land use, maps highlighting priority areas for forest conservation, and will produce a guide that can be used as a model by other organizations.
  • Sarah Lawrence College - $35,841: High School Research Program for the Hudson River at the Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB) will work with local high school students and teachers to develop independent research projects about the Hudson River estuary, and will create videos and curriculum about the ecology of the estuary.

NEW YORK CITY

New York County

  • The River Project, Inc. - $39,295: Standardization and Expansion of The River Project's Educational Programming Curriculum. The River Project will develop curriculum for field trips, classrooms, and professional development training programs for students and teachers at its marine science field station on Pier 40
  • Outstanding Renewal Enterprises, Inc. - $10,000: Hudson River Estuary Education Program at the Lower East Side Ecology Center will buy fishing gear and supplies and will develop education materials and signs for their free, family-friendly fishing clinics.
  • Seaport Museum New York - $30,000: Pioneer Centerboard Trunk Replacement. South Street Seaport Museum will replace the centerboard trunk of the educational vessel Pioneer in order to continue to operate the vessel as a floating classroom in the 2019 sailing season and beyond.
  • Downtown Boathouse - $30,000: Expansion of Free Kayaking Programs in Manhattan. The Downtown Boathouse will buy adaptive kayaking equipment for seniors and people of all abilities as well as additional boats for popular launch sites.

Richmond County

  • New York City Department of Parks & Recreation - $50,000: Green Infrastructure Planning for the Harlem River Watershed and the North Shore of Staten Island. The Downtown Boathouse will buy adaptive kayaking equipment for seniors and people of all abilities as well as additional boats for popular launch sites.

DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program helps people enjoy, protect, and revitalize the Hudson River and its valley. Created in 1987, the program focuses on the tidal Hudson and its adjacent watershed from the federal dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City.

Senator Tom O'Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "New York State's ongoing investments through the Environmental Protection Fund in communities statewide will make a great difference for future generations and help secure a stronger environmental future in every region of the state. This latest round of funding focuses on one of the state's most important and iconic waterways, the Hudson River Estuary."

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "Grants such as these support a range of recreational access and planning initiatives for communities along the Hudson River and benefit the broader goal of creating a resilient environment. These investments help those that understand their communities best to tackle the projects they think are most important. I applaud the Governor for his continued support of the EPF and the many important programs it funds."

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