November 3, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $1.3 Million to Increase Hudson River Access and Improve Estuary Protections

Governor Cuomo Announces $1.3 Million to Increase Hudson River Access and Improve Estuary Protections

Projects Advance Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda and Promote Environmental Stewardship

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1.3 million has been awarded to 12 projects to help communities along the Hudson River Estuary improve recreational access and river education. The grants will support the repair and maintenance of docks and heritage wooden boats, offer new exhibits, educational opportunities, and enhanced accessibility for people with disabilities.

“The Hudson River is a vital part of New York’s identity and one of our defining natural assets,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding, these projects will help protect this treasured waterway, increase accessibility and create more opportunities to be enjoyed by New Yorkers and visitors alike for generations to come.”

The grant program, part of New York State's Environmental Protection Fund, which was allocated a record-level $300 million in the FY 2017 State Budget, is administered through the Department of Environmental Conservation. These projects will enhance river access and educational opportunities, and advance the goals set forth in the 2015-2020 Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “With Estuary Program assistance, many riverfront communities have been pursuing projects that advance stewardship of their natural resources, such as sustainable shoreline techniques, open space planning, and natural resources inventories. These grant awards build on local conservation efforts and priorities by advancing new possibilities for nature-based tourism and the associated economic benefits.”

Grant Recipients:

Hudson River Park Trust (New York) - $200,000
Hudson River Park Trust will complete design and marine engineering of a concrete floating dock at Hudson River Park Pier 26. The design will include utilities and an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible ramp and necessary modifications to the existing Pier 26 marine infrastructure. The improved dock will accommodate large vessels, including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and will serve as a river access point for education and research.

Seaport Museum New York (New York) - $195,000
Seaport Museum New York will repair two historic educational vessels, the Pioneer and Lettie G. Howard, used as floating classrooms for programs about ecology, natural history, and water quality. The repairs include a more efficient engine and new sails for Pioneer, and deck, hull, rig, and engineering repairs to Lettie G. Howard.

Clarkson University (New York) - $193,639
Clarkson University will lead a consortium of partners to develop a plan for exhibit spaces and digital exhibits in the Hudson Park Pier 26 Estuarium in New York City. The Estuarium will be a public discovery center and destination for dynamic educational exhibits about the science, environment, and history of the Hudson River Estuary. The grant will also fund the development of the Estuarium website and its education portal.

Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies (Dutchess & Ulster) $158,549
Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies will train secondary school students and teachers to use data from the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS) and the Hudson River watershed to gain a better understanding of the environment. The Institute will build a web-based data portal to feature new environmental and social science data-sets for classroom use, along with resources for students, teachers, and others. Cary staff also will partner with Spark Media Project to help students in three environmental justice communities participate in the Hudson Data Jam Competition, an annual event that challenges students to creatively tell stories for a general audience using data from the Hudson River watershed.

Hudson River Maritime Museum (Ulster) - $120,263
Hudson River Maritime Museum will build a 21-foot, eight-person, heritage wooden boat to provide “on the water” education and access to the tidal Rondout creek and Hudson River. The museum will document the boat’s construction, which will take place at its Riverport boat building school. The grant will also fund construction of universal access to the museum’s docks, including an accessible entryway and ramp to the docks, and an ADA-compliant kayak and small boat launch that includes a transfer bench for wheelchair-to-craft access.

Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources (Rockland) – $106,250
Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources will replace all of the existing wooden floating docks in Haverstraw Bay Park with storm resilient, ADA-compliant docks. Additional improvements include outfitting an accessible kayak launch in one of the boat slips. The County will use existing gangways and piers for the installation, which is part of a larger project to repair damage resulting from Superstorm Sandy.

Manhattan College – (Westchester & Bronx) $74,628
Manhattan College will develop web applications and websites to help middle school through college students in Peekskill, Cortlandt, and the Bronx gather, share, and synthesize evidence-based observations of the Hudson River Estuary using their own smartphones. Students will collect water samples in two tidal estuaries and will download Bluetooth-enabled data of vital water parameters to analyze water quality, which will be used in collaborative class sessions.

Arm of the Sea Productions, Inc. (Ulster) - $73,934
Arm of the Sea Productions will complete the planning, design and permitting needed to construct a center for Hudson River estuary education on the site of a 19th century paper mill on the tidal Esopus Creek. The 1.5-acre property is adjacent to the Tina Chorvas Waterfront Park in the Village of Saugerties.

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (Bronx) - $58,350
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation will complete the planning for a shoreline access project along the Hudson River Estuary in the Bronx, between High Bridge and the Alexander Hamilton Bridge at a site known as Bridge Park South. The site was previously used as a construction staging area and includes more than 215,000 square-feet of unused waterfront. The project will focus on access planning for environmental education and habitat enhancement, and will include a site survey and analysis, hydrodynamic assessment, community outreach, and a concept design.

Marist College (Dutchess) - $54,674
Marist College will retrofit and upgrade a 28-foot educational vessel to increase accessibility for two educational programs that provide river-based outdoor experiences on the Hudson River Estuary. The retrofit includes modifications to the deck railing, a widened rail gate, and a hydraulic ramp equipped with railings. The retrofit and equipment upgrades will expand opportunities for students of all ages and abilities to gain hands-on experience and knowledge of the Estuary.

Town of Cortlandt (Westchester) - $50,000
The Town of Cortlandt will complete a feasibility study, conceptual design, and facility planning for a Hudson River Environmental Educational Center to be located in the center of Cortlandt Waterfront Park in the hamlet of Verplanck. The educational center will provide a location for visitors and school groups to learn about the river and particularly the role of the Hudson River in the development of the hamlet of Verplanck and its various industries, including fishing, brick-making and ice-harvesting.

Rensselaer Land Trust (Rensselaer) - $26,500
Rensselaer Land Trust will create a Hudson River Access Plan for shoreline communities in Rensselaer County. The plan will provide an inventory of existing public access sites, research for potential new sites, and will recommend improvements for storm resiliency and access for people of all abilities.

The Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda includes a number of projects and programs to conserve or improve: clean water; community resiliency; the vital estuary ecosystem; fish, wildlife and their habitats; natural scenery; and river access and education. To view the Action Agenda and for complete details about the new grant funding, please visit here.


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