December 6, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $2.6 Million in Environmental Justice Funding for 28 Organizations Statewide

Governor Cuomo Announces $2.6 Million in Environmental Justice Funding for 28 Organizations Statewide

Community Impact Grants Support Areas Disproportionately Impacted by Pollution and Toxins

Projects Address Environmental and Public Health Concerns

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has awarded $2.6 million in Community Impact Grants to 28 organizations. The funding will support projects that address environmental and public health concerns in low-income and minority communities across the state that have historically been burdened by environmental problems.

"All New Yorkers deserve to live in a safe, healthy environment, and these Community Impact Grants will help ensure families and communities across the state regardless of socioeconomic status have the support they need to implement green projects," Governor Cuomo said. "New York will continue to lead the nation in environmental initiatives that protect our residents and strengthen our communities."

"We're providing funding to organizations to address the critical issue of public health concerns in communities across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This grant program will support clean energy projects and ensure that all New Yorkers are living in a safe and healthy environment. New York is committed to investing in initiatives to advance our aggressive energy goals for a cleaner and greener planet for future generations."

DEC's Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program supports community-based organizations working to address environmental and public health risks in their communities. Since the program began in 2006, 145 organizations have received almost $5 million in Environmental Protection Fund dollars for projects improving environmental issues in their communities, including research and outreach projects to expand residents' knowledge and awareness.

The 28 organizations receiving funding in this latest round will enhance and clean up vacant lots, create organic urban farms, improve local waterways, expand environmental education and engage young people with green jobs, address soil health, and build awareness and support for community-owned solar.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Directed by Governor Cuomo, DEC is partnering with community leaders across the state to identify and work to address environmental challenges in New York's underserved and economically disadvantaged communities. DEC continues to support communities historically overburdened with environmental harms as they develop creative and sustainable solutions designed to protect environmental health of residents."

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "This state funding will go a long way in supporting the missions of Fillmore Forward and the Massachusetts Avenue Project as they work to provide city residents with fresh, accessible produce in otherwise underserved neighborhoods. I'm proud to see New York investing in organizations who strive to improve public health and expand green opportunities across our region."

Assembly Member Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "Environmental justice communities have historically been disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of pollution and climate change. These grants are one way to empower underserved communities and help them tackle projects that best fit their needs. The projects range from environmental education to urban farming, highlighting the economy-wide approach that is necessary to mitigate the harmful effects of environmental degradation. I applaud the Governor and the many organizations here for their commitment to addressing environmental health in their respective communities."

Assembly Member Sean Ryan said, "The Community Impact Grants awarded today will help support great groups across the state that will make our communities stronger and our citizens healthier. The funding provided to the groups here in Western New York will allow them to expand upon the great services they already provide, giving them the opportunity to have an even bigger impact on our community. Thank you to the DEC and Governor Cuomo for identifying two great groups in Western New York that will be allowed to continue to grow as a result of these grants."

Community Impact Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Capital District

  • Community Empowerment through Community Participatory Mapping: $99,990, Arbor Hill Development Corporation
  • Urban Environmental Transformation: Youth Empowerment for Community Change: $99,929, Capital Roots Inc.
  • Germinating The NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center: $100,000, Media Alliance, Inc.
  • Albany South End Environmental Justice Project Expansion: $100,000, RADIX Ecological Sustainability Center

Southern Tier

  • Material Reuse as Community Resource for Underserved Populations in Ithaca NY: $93,525, Finger Lakes ReUse Inc.

Finger Lakes

  • Urban Agriculture Engagement and Food Waste Diversion Program: $100,000, Blueprint Geneva, Inc.
  • Green Visions Workforce Development Program and Community Gardens: $100,000, Friends of the Garden Aerial Inc.
  • Engaging Renters in Rochester's Potential Environmental Justice Areas in Healthy Homes Advocacy: $98,330, Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition, Inc fiscal sponsor for Rochester's City-Wide Tenants' Union (CWTU)

Mid-Hudson Valley

  • From Vision to Reality: The Yonkers Greenway Community Park: $100,000, Groundwork Hudson Valley
  • Poughkeepsie Gardens: $100,000, Poughkeepsie Farm Project
  • The Yonkers Blue Team: Tackling Local Water Quality Issues through Research and Youth Engagement: $100,000, Sarah Lawrence College fiscal sponsor for Beczak Environmental Education Center

Long Island

  • Riverside Maritime Trail Phase II Development & Programming: $50,000, Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, Inc.
  • Project BAY AREA: $100,000, Long Beach Latino Civic Association

New York City

  • Pollinator Raingarden: $72,953, Bronx River Alliance, Inc.
  • Low Income HDFC Environmental Resiliency Project: $100,000, Cooper Square Community Development Committee
  • Tibbetts Restoration, Exploration and Clean-Up (TREC): $99,995, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
  • Gowanus Canal Conservancy School Clean & Green Program: $99,702, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Inc.
  • Mapping Environmental (In)Justice: $89,664, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth
  • Urban Lab for Open Spaces Air Monitoring Study: $99,003, Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn
  • Shore Corps: Green Stewards Youth Internship & Workforce Development Program: $100,000, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Inc.
  • Measuring Bronx River Water Quality and Pathogen Levels: $77,577, Rocking the Boat, Inc.
  • The Bronx is Blooming's Program for Leaders Advancing their Community's Environment (PLACE): $100,000, The Bronx is Blooming
  • East New York Healthy Soil Initiative: $100,000, United Community Centers, Inc.
  • The Sunset Park Regenerative Energy Education Project (REEP): $50,000, UPROSE Inc.
  • A Community-Based Education and Planning Project about Climate Change-Related Health Impacts in Inwood: $100,000, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.
  • YMPJ Air, Water, & Food Vulnerability Project: $100,000, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Inc.

Western New York

  • The Square Community Garden & Farmers Market Project: $93,830, Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. fiscal sponsor for Fillmore Forward, Inc.
  • Growing Green: $75,500, Massachusetts Avenue Project Inc.

DEC also announced a new opportunity that will further the Governor's commitment to address environmental and public health concerns in Environmental Justice communities. In order to continue to support the work of community-based organizations, and recognizing that some organizations lack capacity, staff, and resources to achieve these goals, DEC is requesting proposals from established not-for-profits with a history of addressing environmental justice to administer streamlined capacity building grants.

These grants will help environmental justice focused community-based organizations in New York State develop their administrative, technical, and programmatic capacity and expand their services protecting public health and the environment. Interested not-for-profit organizations should apply on the Grants Gateway by February 1, 2019. More information is available on the Office of Environmental Justice's webpage and on the Grants Gateway.

For more a description of the awarded programs, visit

For more information on DEC's grants programs, visit

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640


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