Back to top

DEC Announces $750,000 in Grants Available for Hudson River Estuary Communities

Grants will Enhance River Access, Education, and Natural Resources Protection

The 2021 Hudson River Estuary Program grants are open! Applications are due by 3 pm on June 2nd, 2021 via the NYS Grants Gateway.

The Village of Catskill received $68,000 in Local Stewardship grants in 2016 to analyze their wastewater treatment plant and zoning codes to look for opportunities to address flooding and sea-level rise.

Local Stewardship Planning grants

Amount available: $10,500 to $50,000 per project, 15% match

Eligible projects will advance four categories of projects and programs through planning, feasibility studies, and/or design:*

  • Hudson River shoreline communities to adapt land uses and decision-making to factor in climate change, flooding, heat, drought, and sea-level rise projections
  • Making water infrastructure more resilient to flooding and/or sea-level rise
  • Watershed and source water management planning
  • 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

Click here to download the full Local Stewardship Planning RFP (PDF).

River Education grants

Amount available: $10,500 to $40,000 per project, 15% match

Eligible projects will enhance education about the estuary along the tidal waters of the Hudson and make opportunities to learn about the Hudson River Estuary more accessible. The funding may be used to design, equip and/or construct educational facilities (including signage, exhibits, and river-focused art installations), support development of plans* or curriculum, purchase of equipment, and/or development of web sites or mobile phone apps.

River Access grants

Amount available: $10,500 to $50,000 per project, 15% match

Eligible projects will provide new or improved accessibility at new or existing access sites for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-dependent recreation along the shoreline of the Hudson estuary, including the tidal portion of its tributaries.

*The word “plan,” as used to describe a deliverable, is deemed to include the following plans and planning processes:

  • Plans
  • Visioning statements
  • Feasibility studies
  • Assessments
  • Inventories
  • Designs and related permitting activities
  • Regionally-applicable guidance documents, handbooks or fact sheets that help people adopt conservation best management practices

Grants Program History

Since 1999, DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program has offered grants to municipalities and non-profits located within its Estuary Watershed Boundaries (PDF). 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.

Past Recipients and Their Projects

FEMA's new Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) funding

In 2020, FEMA released a new pre-disaster mitigation program called Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) to "support states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards... The BRIC program guiding principles are supporting communities through capability- and capacity-building; encouraging and enabling innovation; promoting partnerships; enabling large projects; maintaining flexibility; and providing consistency." Learn more on the BRIC website.

Additional sources of funding assistance

In 2019, there were over 15 state and public grant and loan programs totaling over $150 million to help support projects related to climate resilience in your community. You can download our 2019 Financing Waterfront Resilience fact sheet (PDF) and visit our page on green infrastructure funding programs to read helpful summaries and comparisons of these programs. Many of these programs are lumped into the NYS Consolidated Funding Application which is typically due in late July. Now is good time to start preparing for the next round.