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For Release: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

DEC Announces $986,000 in Grants Available to Improve Water Quality, Bolster Resiliency in Hudson River Estuary

Grants will Help Hudson River Watershed Communities Remove Dams and Restore Habitat for American Eel and River Herring

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that $986,000 is available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed improve water quality, increase flood resiliency, and conserve natural resources. Grants will support projects that will help remove dams to restore aquatic habitat connectivity for the American eel and/or river herring that are found in tributary streams of the estuary. The grants are also intended to help communities with existing and projected impacts of localized flooding along tributaries of the river by removing constrictions.

"New York is making significant investments to restore the state's waterways, bolster resiliency, protect habitat, and create stronger communities," Commissioner Seggos said. "With the funding announced today, which is provided through the state's Environmental Protection Fund, Hudson River Estuary communities will be able to support dam removals and other projects that promote sustainability and improve the health of the region's fish, wildlife, and other natural resources."

Applicants may apply for dam removal projects and engineering and planning projects for dam removal and right-sizing of culverts affecting eel or herring migration in the estuary watershed. A map of identified and prioritized barriers is available on the DEC website. The minimum grant award is $10,500; the maximum award is $986,000.

DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program 2019 Request for Applications (RFA) for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency (link leaves DEC's website) is available online through the NYS Grants Gateway. The Grants Gateway is an online grants management system that streamlines the way grants are administered by the State of New York. All grant applicants, including governmental entities and not-for-profit corporations, must be registered in the Grants Gateway to be eligible to apply for any state grant opportunity. Not-For-Profit applicants are required to prequalify in the Grants Gateway system. Registration and prequalification information and forms (link leaves DEC's website) are available online at the New York State Grant Opportunities website.

General information about these grants is also available on DEC's website. General questions about the Hudson River Estuary grants application process may be directed to Susan Pepe, Estuary Grants Manager, NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3506;

Completed grant applications must be submitted online through the Grants Gateway by 3 p.m. on February 5, 2020.

In addition to the funding being made available today, Governor Cuomo recently announced (link leaves DEC's website) that in next year's State of the State address, he will introduce an aggressive nation-leading habitat restoration initiative called "Revive Mother Nature." Revive Mother Nature will support critical environmental restoration efforts, like the types of projects that will be supported by this Hudson River Estuary Program funding, to help make communities more resilient in the face of climate change and severe weather, while also restoring and increasing fish and wildlife habitat.

Now in its 17th year, the Hudson River Estuary Grants Program implements priorities outlined in DEC's Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda: clean water; resilient communities; a vital estuary ecosystem; estuary fish, wildlife and habitats; natural scenery; and education, river access, recreation, and inspiration. To date, the Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded 528 grants totaling more than $22 million. To view the Action Agenda and for complete details about the new grant funding, visit the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda page on the DEC website.

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