Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Wednesday, May 10, 2023

DEC Announces $2.15 Million in Funding is Now Available for Tidal Hudson River Communities

Grants will Improve Resiliency, Protect Natural Resources, and Enhance River Access and Environmental Education

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the availability of $2.15 million in competitive grant funding for projects to help communities along the Hudson River Estuary improve water quality, advance stewardship of habitat and natural resources, and enhance river access and education. The grants are funded by the State's Environmental Protection Fund and administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.

"Thanks to Governor Kathy Hochul's support, the funding announced today will help communities develop plans and advance tools to become more resilient to the ongoing impacts of climate change and create new opportunities to promote stronger ecosystems," said Commissioner Seggos. "The Hudson River is one of our state's true gems and this investment builds on local conservation efforts and priorities to sustainably improve the river's water quality and protect our natural resources."

Now in its 20th year, the Estuary Grants Program implements priorities outlined in DEC's Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda 2021-2025. To date, the Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded 617 grants totaling $26.9 million. To view the Action Agenda and for complete details about the new grant funding, visit the DEC website.

Four Requests for Applications (RFAs) are available: Local Stewardship Planning, Tributary Restoration and Resiliency, River Access, and River Education. The deadline for all applications is July 12, 2023, at 3 p.m. These RFAs are available only online through the New York State Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website). The Grants Gateway is a web-based grant management system that streamlines how grants are administered by the State. The RFAs include:

Local Stewardship Planning: $900,000

Approximately $900,000 in funding is available for four categories of local projects and programs to support planning for:

  • Creating climate vulnerability assessments, adaptation plans, and strategies for waterfront communities in the Hudson River estuary watershed to adapt to climate risks like flooding, sea-level rise, heat, and drought, including using natural and nature-based solutions;
  • Engineering plans/designs to make water infrastructure more resilient to flooding and/or sea-level rise;
  • Planning for conservation of natural resources by creating a natural resources inventory, open space inventory/index, open space plan, conservation overlay zone, open space funding feasibility study, or connectivity plan; and
  • Water quality monitoring, watershed characterization, and water quality improvement planning and design, and source water protection.

The minimum grant award for local stewardship planning is $10,500 and the maximum is $75,000.

Tributary Restoration and Resiliency: $650,000

Approximately $650,000 is available for projects to support the restoration of free-flowing waters to benefit water quality, conserve and restore habitat, and help communities with existing and projected impacts of localized flooding. Projects that benefit herring and eel and are in closest sequential proximity to tidal waters are priorities. The minimum grant award for tributary restoration and resiliency is $10,500 and the maximum is $150,000.

Hudson River Estuary Access: $350,000

Approximately $350,000 is available for projects to improve resiliency to flooding and sea-level rise and improve accessibility to the tidal waters of the Hudson including the tidal portion of its tributaries. It may be used to support development of plans, purchase of equipment, and/or construction of physical improvements. Consideration of long-term resiliency to sea-level rise and flooding is strongly encouraged as an element of project design for all eligible project types. The minimum grant award for Hudson River Estuary access is $10,500, and the maximum grant amount is $75,000.

River Education: $250,000

Approximately $250,000 is available to support projects to enhance education about the estuary along the tidal waters of the Hudson and to make opportunities to learn about the Hudson River Estuary more accessible for a wide range of people, especially communities traditionally underrepresented in science careers. Funding may be used to design, equip, and/or construct educational facilities, to support a paid environmental science research program for young adults, create professional development for educators or curriculum development directly linked to the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda, as well as improve programs, materials, and visitor experiences. The minimum grant award for river education is $20,000, and the maximum grant amount is $100,000.

All grant applicants, including government agencies and not-for-profit corporations, must be registered in the New York State Grants Gateway to be eligible to apply for any State grant opportunity. For more information about Grants Gateway, please visit the Grants Management website (leaves DEC website) or contact the Grants Gateway Team at:

General information about these grants is also available on DEC's website. Completed grant applications must be submitted online through the Grants Gateway by July 12, 2023 at 3 p.m. General questions about the Hudson River Estuary grants application process may be directed to Susan Pepe, Estuary Grants Manager, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3506;

New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) supports climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, improves agricultural resources to promote sustainable agriculture, protects our water sources, advances conservation efforts, and provides recreational opportunities for New Yorkers. In the 2023-34 State Budget, Governor Hochul maintained EPF funding at $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program's history. The EPF also provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.

  • Contact for this Page
  • Press Office - Lori Severino
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1016
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Hudson River region