September 24, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces More than $2 Million in Grants for Resiliency Projects in the Hudson River Watershed

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces More than $2 Million...
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $2 million in state grants to implement projects that will better protect communities along the Hudson River estuary from future flooding, storm surges, and rising sea levels. These climate adaptation initiatives are funded by the Environmental Protection Fund and are expected to be complete by the end of the year.


Extreme weather has hit nearly every corner of this state during the last few years, and communities along the Hudson River have sustained more than their share of damage," Governor Cuomo said. "This administration is committed to building New York back better and these infrastructure upgrades and coastal protection plans will help protect residents and businesses during the next severe storm.


The projects, located in coastal and watershed communities, will stabilize shorelines and streams to reduce storm and flood damage to culverts, roads and bridges. The projects are also designed to maintain environmental sustainability and protect water quality and habitat.


The Hudson River Climate Resiliency Project is a partnership among the Department of Environmental Conservations Hudson River Estuary Program, the Cornell University New York State Water Resources Institute, Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.


As part of Governor Cuomos strategy to enhance state and community preparedness for extreme weather, these projects will advance the Hudson River Estuary Programs goal to reduce flood-hazard risks, enhance flood resiliency and protect important economic and environmental assets.


DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, Governor Cuomo has directed state agencies to work closely with local communities to improve resiliency and plan for future climate change impacts. These projects are critical investments to help Hudson River communities protect homes, shorelines, habitats and natural resources, maintaining the character and quality of life along the river estuary.


Projects to Reduce Flood Risks and Improve Coastal and Shoreline Resiliency:


Design of Sustainable Shorelines Demonstration Projects -- $149,865: Design improvements to the riverbank and park shoreline at the Dockside property in the Village of Cold Spring, and at Nyack Beach State Park to enhance habitat for aquatic species, reduce erosion and increase the properties resiliency to sea-level rise and coastal storms.


Hudson Estuary Waterfront Flood Resiliency Task Forces -- $197,000: Supports tasks forces in the City of Kingston, Village of Piermont, Town of Stony Point, and the Town and Village of Catskill, which are evaluating vulnerability of their assets to sea level rise and storms to identify adaptation alternatives.


Research Plan to Advance the Understanding of Potential Coastal Green Infrastructure Strategies in New York City $80,000: ARCADIS and the Stevens Institute of Technology, in partnership with the NYC Department of Planning, will develop a research plan to advance the understanding of shoreline green infrastructure strategies to improve coastal resiliency.


Long-Term Water Level Monitoring Station in the Hudson Estuary $100,000: The Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve has installed a water-level monitoring station at Turkey Point, near Kingston, to track long-term water-level change caused by sea level rise.


SLAMM modeling in the Hudson Estuary, Multiple Counties-Resiliency -- $10,000: Cornell University and Scenic Hudson are using the SLAMM (Sea Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model) to model potential marsh migration in the Hudson estuary.


Climate Smart Communities Certification Program $85,000: DEC, NYSERDA and the consultant Vanesse, Hangen, and Brustlin have created a certification program and manual for climate smart communities to help them prioritize actions for energy-efficiency, water conservation and stormwater management.


Projects Related to Reducing Flood Risks and Improving Flood Resiliency in the Hudson River Estuary Watershed


Demonstrations of Green Infrastructure Techniques $144,400: The Lower Hudson Coalition of Conservation Districts (LHCCD) is constructing region-wide demonstrations of green infrastructure techniques, including rain gardens, porous pavement systems, roof water collection and reuse, and a green roof, to capture and treat stormwater. The LHCCD is also developing a guide, Green Infrastructure Review Guidelines, for use by planning boards.


Post-flood Stream Management and Flood Resilience Training $370,700: Cornell Cooperative Extension staff in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Schoharie and Ulster counties are conducting municipal and landowner workshops on post-flood stream management and flood resilience.


Evaluating Options for Removal or Modification of Browns Pond Dam --$50,000: The Town of Hamptonburgh is evaluating the benefits and impacts of Browns Pond Dam as a means to reduce flooding upstream of the dam and allow for upstream migration of fish.


Assessing Stream Resilience in the Lower Hudson River Watershed -- $47,765: The SUNY Research Foundation is evaluating biodiversity data and developing predictive models for water quality metrics, macroinvertebrate biodiversity, freshwater mussels and rare species for all stream reaches in the Hudson River Valley. With the Rensselaer Land Trust, SUNY is also piloting an outreach and citizen science effort in Rensselaer County.


Creating a Hudson Watershed Management Guide $29,733: The Orange County Water Authority, in partnership with the County Department of Planning and Regional Plan Association, is creating a Hudson Watershed Management Guide to promote best management practices and design concepts, as well as an analysis of existing municipal, county and state codes, and regulations related to watershed resiliency.


Increasing Flood Resilience in the Town of Hyde Park $20,000: Projects are being designed to increase flood resilience in neighborhoods in the Hamlet of Staatsburg and Town of Hyde Park that are repeatedly damaged by major flooding.


Green Infrastructure to Improve Watershed Resilience in the Saw Mill Brook Watershed and Village of New Paltz - $258,932: Through a partnership between SUNY, Cornell Universitys Water Resources Institute and HREP, SUNY New Paltz is monitoring water quality in the Saw Mill Creek watershed, installing a rainwater harvesting system at LeFevre Hall and creating a stormwater mitigation master plan focusing on green technologies for its north campus.


Local Flood Management Needs Assessment - $140, 832: Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension will conduct flooding needs assessments, evaluate the capacity of communities to respond to floods and evaluate training and outreach activities.


Identifying Undersized Culverts by Determining Peak Flow - $64,892: Cornell University and the HREP are working to identify flooding hazards and barriers to aquatic passage in three Hudson River Estuary watersheds, and will determine which culverts are undersized or are predicted to be undersized as precipitation changes in the coming decades.


Assessing Climate Change Flood Risk in the Mohawk and Hudson River Basins - $76,700:SUNY Environmental Science staff will characterize flooding causes in the Mohawk and Hudson River valleys, including high precipitation, ice dams and storm surge; evaluate the relative contribution of upland watershed flow and storm surge to water levels on the main channel of the Hudson River; and assess how future flood risk may change.


Habitat Corridor Mapping in the Hudson Estuary - $230,000: Cornell University staff and the HREP are developing a landscape-scale connectivity map to model and prioritize current and future landscape connectivity based on changes in species distribution caused by climate change. The research is also establishing plant, animal and ecosystem indicators of climate change.


Integrating Climate Change Messages into K-12 Estuary Lesson Plans - $37,436: NY Sea Grant recently inventoried and reviewed available climate change curriculum and assessed the applicability of adapting the lessons for use in the Hudson Valley.


Stream Dynamics Demonstrations for Outreach - $17, 368: Cornell University is using a sediment flume to convey concepts about stream dynamics and flooding.


Volunteer Monitoring Program in Columbia County - $8,000: To improve public understanding of watershed protection methods and complex flooding issues, River Haggie Outdoors is establishing a volunteer Stream Spotter water quality monitoring program in the upper reaches of the Greater Stockport Creek watershed.


Projects Related to Water Quality Protection and Conservation:
Evaluating Green Infrastructure to Improve Combined Sewer Overflows -- $47,298:
The City of Newburgh is working with eDesign Dynamics to prepare a set of design recommendations, cost estimates and performance estimates to evaluate infrastructure improvements that also enhance the environment and improve public access.


Water Quality Monitoring in the Kromma Kill Watershed - $20,000: Siena College is identifying potential pollution sources, water quality areas of concern and restoration opportunities in the Kromma Kill watershed that will help mitigate flooding in the watershed.


Major Storm Damage Assessment on Water Infrastructure - $50,000: NYS Water Resources Institute staff at Cornell University will assess economic impacts of storms Irene, Lee and Sandy on water and wastewater infrastructure and shoreline communities in the Hudson Valley.


Design and install a Rondout Creek Combined Overflow Sewer Monitoring System City - $50,400: The City of Kingston is designing and installing a series of in-pipe wireless sensors to notify city staff and residents via an online portal of overflow conditions. The sensors will also document combined sewer overflow volumes.