New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that $400,000 in new competitive grant funding is now available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary design and improve recreational access and enhance education for people of all ages and abilities.

“This funding supports Governor Cuomo’s important investments to create new and expanded recreation opportunities for people of all abilities and provide increased access to New York’s natural resources,” Commissioner Seggos said. “New York’s investments in our Hudson River Estuary programs support local communities to create a more sustainable environment while increasing resiliency to extreme weather and flooding.”

Hudson River Estuary Access

Approximately $200,000 is available for projects to 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 River Estuary. This funding may be used to support development of plans, purchase of equipment, and/or construction of physical improvements. The minimum grant award is $10,500, and the maximum grant amount is $50,000.

River Education

Approximately $200,000 is available to support projects to 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. The minimum grant award is $10,500, and the maximum grant amount is $40,000.

The deadline for applications is August 14, 2019, at 3 p.m. Requests for Applications (RFAs) for “River Education” and “River Access” are available online through the NYS Grants Gateway. The Grants Gateway is a web-based grant management system that streamlines the way grants are administered by the State of New York. All grant applicants, including government agencies and not-for-profit corporations, must be registered in the NYS 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. For more information about Grants Gateway, please visit the Grants Management website or contact the Grants Gateway Team at:

General questions about the Hudson River Estuary grants application process may be directed to Susan Pepe, DEC’s Estuary Grants Manager, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3506; A description of the grant and application process and the RFA document is available on the DEC website. The grants are provided through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and will be administered by DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program. To date, the Hudson River Estuary Program has awarded 525 grants totaling more than $21 million.

In the 2019-2020 State Budget, Governor Cuomo sustained the record-high EPF at $300 million for the fourth 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.

The 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 dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City.