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$525,000 Available to Improve Water Quality by Planting Trees
New York Ag Connection - 07/06/2018

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the first round of statewide competitive grants for the Trees for Tributaries Program, designed to support riparian tree planting projects for communities across the State. Approximately $525,000 in grant funding is available to help plant trees and shrubs along streams to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and storm resiliency.

Seggos said, "Streamside plantings are critically important for stabilizing streambanks, decreasing erosion, slowing flood waters, and protecting water infrastructure. Since expanding the Hudson River Estuary's Trees for Tributaries Program statewide, DEC and our partners have planted more than 112,000 trees along streams, supporting Governor Cuomo's nation-leading efforts to protect water quality and our communities."

The grant funding is supported by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and is available to municipalities, academic institutions, and not-for-profits. Projects must involve planting native trees and shrubs along streams and projects must occur within eligible funding locations. Visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/113412.html for a map of eligible areas.

Grants range from a minimum of $11,000 to a maximum of $100,000. Priority will be given to projects that engage community partners and volunteers in tree planting activities, as well as those that create a stream buffer width of 35 feet or more.

The 2017-18 State Budget includes $300 million for the EPF, sustaining the fund at its highest level ever. The funding supports state land stewardship, agriculture programs, invasive species prevention and eradication, water quality improvement, municipal recycling and an aggressive environmental justice agenda. In addition, the EPF is establishing new programs to help communities adapt to climate change through resiliency planning and capital projects, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Sept. 7. The Trees for Tributaries Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is available on DEC's website www.dec.ny.gov/animals/113412.html and through the NYS Grants Gateway website grantsreform.ny.gov/. All grant applicants must register in the NYS Grants Gateway system before applying. Not-for-profit applicants are required to "prequalify" in the system, so it is recommended the process be started well in advance of the grant application due date.

A "how to" webinar is scheduled on July 25, at 10 a.m. to educate potential applicants on the grants process. Visit the Trees for Tributaries Grant Program webpage for details.

General questions about the Trees for Tributaries grants application process may be directed to Mary Hegarty, DEC's Trees for Tributaries Statewide Coordinator, NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4250, treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov. To learn more about the Trees for Tributaries Program and its tree planting activities, visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/77710.html.

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