Grant awards for 97 projects in every region of the state cover planning, design and construction of projects that focus on economic, community, environmental and recreational improvements.
But special attention is focused on the Hudson Valley as the state prepares for the 400th anniversary of Dutch explorer Henry Hudson's discovery of the Hudson River, which will be commemorated in 2009.
"Across New York State, communities have recognized that their waterfronts can be the foundation for economic revitalization and improving quality of life," said Governor Paterson.
In the Hudson Valley there are 10 awards totaling $4.4 million to improve waterfront public access. The Village of Tarrytown received a $2.37 million grant for promenade construction, installation of a kayak launch and refurbishment of the fishing pier at Pierson Park.
An award of $642,500 will enable the City of Rensselaer to advance designs for an 11,000 linear foot public access trail along the Hudson River.
These two projects are part of the dozens of Legacy Projects planned over the next two years as part of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission's activities.
Also on the Hudson River, the City of Newburgh will utilize its $500,000 grant to conduct planning and engineering for the modification and relocation of the existing combined storm and sanitary main pipes. The project is intended to reduce pollution and enable redevelopment of a 30 acre urban renewal site on the Hudson River waterfront.
The Village of Ossining will design and construct a trail at Crawbuckie Nature Area as part of the Westchester County RiverWalk along the Hudson River with its $175,000 grant.
In order to provide improved facilities as part of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, the Village of Piermont will use its $95,000 grant to construct improvements at Piermont Pier on the Hudson River.
The Town of Halfmoon will use its $55,000 grant to complete the design for a new park on a 2.5 acre, town-owned parcel on the Hudson River waterfront.
The Hudson River from the Great Redoubt at Saratoga Battlefield (Photo by Ken Lund)
The Town of Saratoga will advance three components of the intermunicipal "Old Saratoga on the Hudson" revitalization plan for the Hudson River/Champlain Canal waterfront with its grant of $272,000.
And the City of Kingston will undertake a series of waterfront revitalization planning, design and reconstruction projects for its Hudson River and Rondout Creek waterfronts with its $500,000 grant. Elements will include harbor management planning, and developing recommendations to mitigate flooding, manage stormwater runoff, and control erosion at critical locations.
The Department of State's Division of Coastal Resources administers Environmental Protection Fund grants to local governments for planning, design and construction projects that advance preparation or implementation of Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs, community revitalization strategies, watershed management plans, coastal education programs, blueway trails, and urban waterfront redevelopment.
All grants are awarded on a 50-50 matching basis.
Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said, "New York's waterfronts are among its greatest assets. Ninety percent of the state's population and a wide variety of economic activities are concentrated in the communities along its waterfronts - from the largest cities to the smallest hamlets. These grants will help rejuvenate New York's waterfront communities, bringing new life, business and activity."
On Long Island and the Westchester County shoreline of Long Island Sound there are 13 awards totaling $2.32 million. These awards advance community revitalization and environmental and recreational improvements.
New York City received 10 awards totaling $8.37 million aimed at improving urban neighborhoods by connecting them to the city's waterfront.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation received a $3.18 million grant to work with the Randall's Island Sports Foundation to complete the Randall's Island Park-Bronx Shore Pathway.
In addition the Economic Development Corporation received $3 million to reconfigure Food Center Drive on Hunts Point to provide a landscaped bike lane as part of the South Bronx Greenway.
"These funds will allow communities to connect New York residents to the waterfront, particularly in distressed urban neighborhoods where waterfront access is in short supply," said the governor.
Additionally, there are 64 awards totaling $9.8 million for projects across Upstate New York to revitalize upstate communities by focusing on economic, community, environmental and recreational improvements.
With these awards, 972 Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grants have been awarded through the Department of State since 1994, totaling more than $122 million.
A complete list of the 2007-2008 grant awards is online here.
The Department of State is now soliciting applications for the 2008 round of the Environmental Protection Fund's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Details are available at www.nyswaterfronts.com. The application deadline is June 30, 2008.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.