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$750,000 River Access Grants in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown
New York Ag Connection - 07/11/2019

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that $750,000 was awarded for three projects to help the villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown increase storm resiliency and construct improvements for recreational access to the tidal waters of the Hudson. Funding for these grants is provided by the Natural Resource Damages (NRD) General Motors/Tarrytown Assembly Plant Hudson River Settlement and is administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.

"The Hudson River is an exceptional resource that should be accessible for all New Yorkers to enjoy. The projects announced today will enhance work already underway to expand recreational opportunities throughout the estuary," Seggos said. "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State continues to make significant investments in projects like these to increase the sustainability, resiliency, and quality of life for communities along the Hudson River."

In 2010, DEC resolved a natural resources damages claim with General Motors LLC (GM) for releases of contaminants from the Tarrytown Assembly Plant in the village of Tarrytown. Settlement funds are used to restore natural resources and fish and wildlife habitat in the lower Hudson River estuary, near the site. The funded projects are:

Historic Hudson Valley, $104,000 -- Historic Hudson Valley will improve storm resiliency and river access for the public at Philipsburg Manor, a historic landmark in Sleepy Hollow contiguous to the former GM site. The project will eradicate invasive species on the shoreline to improve access and preserve the viewshed, stabilize the shoreline with native plantings using sustainable shoreline principles, upgrade the picnic area to meet universal access standards, and remove fallen trees from the river to facilitate recreational kayaking.

Village of Sleepy Hollow, $375,000 -- The village of Sleepy Hollow will restore and enhance the riverside trail on the former GM site, which stretches from Devries Park to Philipsburg Manor along the southern shoreline of the Pocantico River, a tributary of the Hudson. The funding will also be used to stabilize the shoreline, remove invasive species, and construct a connected path network with a viewing platform and educational signage. The completed trail will connect Devries Park to inner village neighborhoods and to the Sleepy Hollow Commons project and its amenities.

Village of Tarrytown, $271,000 -- The village of Tarrytown will stabilize the Hudson River shoreline of Losee Park to reduce erosion and flooding impacts. The project will improve public access to the existing kayak/canoe launch at the park. The village will also work with local public schools, the senior center, and historically underserved residents to promote the enjoyment of nature and recreational opportunities.

In addition to the settlement funds, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sustained the record-high Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million for the fourth year in a row in the 2019-2020 budget, providing funding for open space conservation, parkland stewardship, and other environmental protection projects, including grants to reduce flooding and restore the Hudson River Estuary.

DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program helps people enjoy, protect, and revitalize the Hudson River and its valley. Created in 1987, the program focuses on the tidal Hudson and its adjacent watershed from the dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City.

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