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DEC, NY Sea Grant announce $192,000 in grants for Great Lakes Basin projects, request proposals for new projects

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Fri, Jul 8th 2016 01:55 pm

Funding will help Great Lakes Basin communities increase resiliency and improve water quality

In partnership with New York Sea Grant, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced $192,000 in grants for nine projects that will help Great Lakes coastal communities enhance their resiliency and protect water quality.

"Improving water quality is essential to enhancing coastal resiliency and the local economies in the Great Lakes region that depend on clean and healthy waterways," Seggos said. "These grants advance local solutions to build stronger, more resilient communities in the face of climate change and ensure that water quality is protected for people, fish and wildlife. And I look forward to watching these innovative projects move forward."

"New York Sea Grant is pleased to administer these awards and work with the recipients to ensure that the results, products and lessons learned are shared with all of our Great Lakes communities and stakeholders," New York Sea Grant Associate Director Katherine E. Bunting-Howarth said.

Coastal and inland communities throughout New York's Great Lakes region are vulnerable to impacts of storm surge, flooding, shoreline erosion, excessive nutrient loads, harmful algal blooms and many other challenges related to community resiliency and water quality.

To address these risks, and improve resiliency and water quality in the Great Lakes region, grants will be awarded to the following organizations:

City of Rochester: $25,000 to develop a green infrastructure design and maintenance manual to encourage and guide the proper use and installation of green infrastructure technologies with an emphasis on retrofit and redevelopment projects;

Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council: $25,000 to provide outreach and education to municipalities to promote enrollment in the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System, which focuses on reducing risk and building resilience;

University at Buffalo: $25,000 to quantify nutrient fluxes from representative urban and agricultural subwatersheds in Western New York to better understand the sources and timing of these fluxes and their impacts on the nearshore areas of New York's Great Lakes;

Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District: $25,000 to assess, research and complete geographical, fisheries and wildlife surveys to aid in the establishment of an action plan to restore Port Bay's East Barrier Bar;

Onondaga Environmental Institute: $24,998 to enhance the resiliency, water quality and aquatic habitat value of Onondaga Creek by increasing riparian buffers, improving bank stability and removing invasive phragmites;

Finger Lakes Institute: $20,112 to develop a water quality monitoring program that works with citizen scientists to determine levels and sources of nutrients and bacteria in the nearshore area of Cayuga Lake;

Clarkson University: $18,630 to measure high-resolution water quality parameters in the nearshore zone of the St. Lawrence River that will assist water resource managers in assessing risk, uncertainties and changing conditions related to water level and water quality management in this region;

Center for Transformative Action: $15,000 to create and distribute 20 "CurrentCast" (60-second syndicated radio series and podcast) segments that educate the public about issues and activities related to topics such as stormwater management, shoreline protection, flooding and erosion protection, riparian restoration, wetlands protection and green infrastructure; and

Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program: $14,183 to develop the Tributary Adoption and Identification Pilot Program resulting in simple, public-friendly information management tools focused on enhancing local public awareness, involvement and understanding of watershed issues and concerns.

New York's Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program is made possible by the state Environmental Protection Fund and Article 14, "Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act," of the state's Environmental Conservation Law. Grant projects support the goals of an "Interim New York Great Lakes Action Agenda," a plan for applying ecosystem-based management to complex environmental problems in order to conserve, protect and enhance irreplaceable Great Lakes natural resources.

The New York's Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program is in its second year of successfully funding projects that achieve goals of the GLAA, as identified by basin-wide stakeholders. New York Sea Grant and DEC have announced a third year of funding is available for 2017-18 projects that meet natural resource and resiliency goals. More information is available below:

New York Sea Grant, DEC Requesting Proposals for Small Grants Program

Eyeing projects that serve to benefit environment, economy of New York's Great Lakes basin

Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded for projects that implement goal No. 5 and/or goal No. 7 of the GLAA. Respectively, these goals are to:

•"Conserve and restore native fish and wildlife biodiversity and habitats to achieve and sustain resilient ecosystems and vibrant economies," and

•"Enhance community resiliency and ecosystem integrity through restoration, protection and improved resource management."

Project planning, design and/or implementation, information management tool development, demonstration projects, and targeted outreach and education initiatives are eligible. Projects must be located within or be directly related to the Great Lakes basin region of New York.

To help not-for-profit organizations, local governmental and public agencies, and public and private educational institutions apply for grants, New York Sea Grant will offer informational webinars at noon July 11 and 25. Those interested in attending may register at https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/SmallGrantsProgramWebinars_112. For questions or more information, email Heather Weitzner at [email protected].

Proposals will be due by Sept. 23. Grants will be announced the week of Oct. 31. Full request for proposals and application guidelines are online at http://www.nyseagrant.org/proposals.

For more information on the "Interim NYS Great Lakes Action Agenda," visit DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/91881.html. For information on the current grant projects, go to www.nyseagrant.org.

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