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Grants to New York Nonprofits, Agencies, Districts, Colleges, and Tribes for Projects to Improve Access to Local Waterbodies

2023 Hudson River Estuary Grants for River Access


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Funding or PIN Number: DEC01-HRER42-2023
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Geographic Focus
USA: New York CityNew York: The Hudson River Estuary watershed

Important Dates
Deadline: 07/12/23 3:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $75,000 to New York nonprofit organizations, municipalities, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, conservation and school districts, community colleges, and tribes for projects to improve access to local waterbodies in eligible regions. Applicants must complete required registrations and prequalifications prior to applying. Funding is intended for the development of plans, purchase of equipment, and construction of physical improvements. Requests will be accepted for projects on the shoreline of the tidal waters of the Hudson River estuary, within defined geographic boundaries of the Estuary's watershed.

This Hudson River Estuary Grant RFA for River Access seeks to assist Hudson Valley municipalities and organizations build their capacity to implement the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda 2021-2025, Benefit 8 An Accessible Hudson River for People of All Ages and Abilities.

Goal: “Develop, maintain, and improve a regional system of access points for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, education, river watching, tourism, and wildlife-related recreation, and build connections that enable residents and visitors of all ages and abilities to have rich and diverse river experiences. Access sites are resilient to flooding and sea-level-rise.” 

See for an overview of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda and links to background information. 

Funding is available to improve access to the tidal waters of the Hudson. Applicants may apply for projects on the shoreline of the tidal waters of the Hudson River estuary, including the tidal portion of its tributaries, to plan, design and construct improvements for new or existing access sites for boating, swimming, fishing, and enjoyment of nature or wildlife-dependent recreation on the estuary.
For information about project objectives, eligibility, and types, see p. 10 of the Guidelines and Application Instructions in Supporting Documents below. 
Funding must be used to implement one of the following three project types
  1. Assessing, Planning and Implementation for Access Site Resiliency to Flooding and Sea Level Rise
  2.  Assessing, Planning for, and Implementing Accessibility Improvements for People with Disabilities
  3. Regional Plans for River Access

For project eligibility, and for further details on project types, see Page 11 of the RFP document in Supporting Documents, below.

For eligible expenditures, see p. 23 of the Guidelines and Application Instructions below.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
For the purposes of this grant program, the following entities are considered eligible applicants: Governmental Entities, Municipalities, and Quasi-Governmental Entities, including but not limited to Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages, or Indian nation or tribe recognized by the state or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, or any combination thereof, Public Benefit Corporations, Public Authorities, Municipal Corporations, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, School Districts, and Community Colleges, and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations whose projects are located within the eligible geographic boundaries defined in this RFA.

For this grant opportunity, a “Not-For-Profit Corporation” (NFP) is subject to New York State’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and is qualified for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, has filed a Certificate of Incorporation to be incorporated in New York State and is current in their charities reporting requirements with the Office of the Attorney General.

Applicants may apply for projects on the shoreline of the tidal waters of the Hudson River estuary, including the tidal portion of its tributaries. Eligible projects for grant funding must be located within defined geographic boundaries of the Hudson River Estuary watershed (see map in Appendix I). “Hudson River Estuary” refers to the legislatively designated Hudson River Estuarine District established in Environmental Conservation Law §11-0306, which extends from the Troy dam to the Verrazano Narrows and includes Upper New York Bay to Kill Van Kull and the East River to Hell Gate, focused on the tributaries that flow into any of these waters. The map of eligible boundaries may also be viewed at (or on p. 32 of the Guidelines and Instructions document listed in Supporting Documents below).

Additional Geographic Information:

Eligible projects for grant funding must be located within defined geographic boundaries of the Hudson River Estuary watershed:

Individuals and unincorporated groups are not eligible for this grant opportunity. However, an eligible applicant may apply on behalf of an individual or unincorporated group as a fiscal sponsor.

The following are not eligible improvements for this funding opportunity:
- Playgrounds and ball courts;
- Non-accessible picnic tables and grills;
- Fees associated with long-term rental of facilities such as port-a-potty rental fees or fees associated with a temporary/removable accessible ramp rental; or
- Paving and parking not directly related to access for boating, fishing, swimming, and/or wildlife-related recreation on the estuary for people of all abilities.

For ineligible project expenditures, see p. 23 of the Guidelines and Application Instructions listed in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Proposal Conference
The Grants Gateway Team offers live webinars for anyone who is interested in additional information about Grants Gateway, the Prequalification process, or submitting applications.

Learn more including times and dates for these webinars:

Any additional training related to this application will also be posted to the training calendar.

Pre-Application Information
- Application Period Begins May 10, 2023
- Question & Answer Period Ends July 5, 2023 COB
- Applications Due July 12, 2023; 3:00 p.m. ET
- Award(s) Announced By (anticipated) Approximately December 2023

Applications must be submitted through the NYS Grants Gateway.

All Applicants must be Registered with Grants Gateway to submit an application. In addition to registration, not-for-profits must also be Prequalified at the time and date that the application is due. If you are not Prequalified at that time and date, your application will not be considered.

Please do not delay in beginning and completing the prequalification process. The state reserves 5 days to review submitted Prequalification applications. Prequalification applications submitted to the state for review less than 5 days prior to the deadline for this application may not be considered. Applicants should not assume that their prequalification Information will be reviewed if they do not adhere to this timeframe.

For this grant opportunity, applicants must match at least 15% of the grant funding amount. Applicants providing 30% match or more will receive additional points in the scoring.

Applicants may submit up to two (2) applications. Multiple applications may not be for the same project or project location. Additionally, applicants who submit more than one grant application will only be eligible to receive one grant award in this grant round, unless additional funding remains after all qualifying grant awards are made (at one per grantee).

Grant Opportunity Profile:

Application steps:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
The minimum grant amount is $10,500. The maximum grant amount is $75,000.

Term of Contract
All projects must have defined objectives, tasks, and deliverables accounted for in performance measures that can be completed and invoiced within a three-year contract period/term of February 1,
2024 through January 31, 2027.

Contact Information
Applications must be submitted through the NYS Grants Gateway:

For inquiries and information, please contact:
Susan Pepe
Hudson River Estuary Program Grants Coordinator

For technical information regarding the Grants Gateway application, direct questions to: NYS Grants
Management, or (518) 474-5595.

Include 2023 Round 42 Access RFA in the subject line of the email.

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