December 2021
monthly newsletter
Update from the Hudson River Watershed Alliance
2021 Annual Report
This year, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance held 25 educational programs with 1,040 people participating from throughout the Hudson River watershed. Alliance staff gave nine presentations at other events, reaching an additional 204 people. Through these programs and direct technical assistance, we supported 26 watershed groups focused on tributary streams and watersheds throughout the region.

Check out our 2021 annual report here!

Other highlights include bringing Community Resilience Building workshops to four municipalities to improve climate change adaptation, communicating as a collective voice across the region, and laying the foundation for exciting new programs in 2022.
Breakfast Lectures
We've had an incredible lineup of speakers in 2021 for our monthly watershed breakfast webinar series. They've covered a number of timely topics, from climate science and stormwater, equity in planning, water quality monitoring, land return to the Stockbridge Munsee Community, and more.

All of our breakfast lectures are recorded and posted on the Hudson River Watershed Alliance's YouTube channel here. If you haven't already, please subscribe to our channel!

A huge thanks to Russell Urban-Mead for co-coordinating this series.
Watershed Highlight
Environmental Justice & Watershed Planning
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance's Annual Watershed Conference kicked off with a youth-centered, facilitated discussion on including Environmental Justice in watershed planning. Participating youth groups from throughout the Hudson River watershed shared their Environmental Justice work, along with their visions for the future, what they feel should be considered in the watershed planning process, and how they believe efforts could be expanded to include important and previously underrepresented stakeholders. 

Speakers included Ameesah Cotten from Newburgh Environmental Justice Fellows, Arianna Smith from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory's Next Generation of Hudson River Educators, Charity Dikson from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory's Next Generation of Hudson River Educators, and Gigi P from Groundwork Hudson Valley's Green Team. The conversation was facilitated by Amanda Cabanillas from the Housatonic Valley Association.

Below are video highlights from this conversation.

Background on each speaker's work
How do you define environmental justice?
How have your experiences influenced that definition?
Addressing gaps in planning that contribute to environmental injustices
Designing outreach materials for different audiences
Finding ways to get people involved
Importance of community input in watershed planning
Normalizing youth participation

Ulster County Department of the Environment: Environmental Planner

The Ulster County Department of the Environment’s Environmental Planner will primarily perform work under a cooperative agreement with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) that enhances the capacity of Ulster County departments. The position supports CCEUC in meeting deliverables of an agreement between the City of New York and CCEUC for the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP). The Environmental Planner’s work will advance the overall goals of creating flood resilient communities and protecting water quality in the Ashokan Watershed. The Environmental Planner will assist in providing local coordination, technical assistance, and implementation for flood hazard / flood response mitigation planning in the Ashokan watershed and will coordinate these activities with the Ulster County government’s plans and activities. The Environmental Planner will work with Ulster County staff, staff of the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program, local municipal officials, and others to perform the work.


Hudson River Estuary Program: Water Quality Monitoring in the Hudson River Estuary solicitation for unassessed streams and rivers due January 14

The Hudson River Estuary Program is soliciting recommendations from applicants on the selection of 1-3 unassessed stream or river segments to be monitored. The monitoring partnership will benefit NYS by creating a baseline condition assessment of the selected waterbodies, while benefiting local partners by providing accurate water quality data that can assist with local land use planning, watershed management, and community outreach. Stream segments must be located within the Hudson River Estuary Program Grant Boundary. They can be found on the Hudson Valley Natural Resource Mapper. There will be a pre-application webinar on Thursday, December 16 at 2:00 pm to provide more background, answer questions and to provide guidance. 

New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health: Applications for Free Technical Assistance for Municipalities on Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2)

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) have announced a new initiative to assist municipalities with assessing and supporting drinking water source protection programs. The Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) is a state-run program created to assist municipalities with proactively protecting their drinking water sources. The goal is to help municipalities develop and implement their own unique drinking water source protection plan for the source(s) of their drinking water. In order to do so, the State is looking for communities to work with a technical assistance provider (TA provider), free of charge, to develop a DWSP2 Plan for their source of drinking water. TA providers will work with the community every step of the way, using the DWSP2 Framework, to develop a community specific DWSP2 Plan. As a result of this program, participating municipalities can use their newly developed DWSP2 plan to start implementing protection measures.

NYS Water Resources Institute: Call for Water Resources Research Project Pre-Proposals due January 14

The New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invite researchers to submit pre-proposals for applied research, outreach, and policy analysis to WRI in support of WRI’s Statewide Water Research and Outreach Agenda and the state’s watershed action agenda goals. The primary objective of this funding opportunity is to provide research and assessment support to watershed-based management, policy, outreach, and education. Proposals must be submitted by researchers affiliated with a university or college based
in New York and be qualified to conduct research through their institution's grant application process. Individual projects should budget for between $10,000 and $40,000 (direct costs), with potential for additional funds if deemed necessary and approved by WRI. This WRI funding call is soliciting preliminary proposals (pre-proposals). Following the review process, WRI will either encourage or discourage the submission of full proposals. Applicants who are encouraged to create full proposals will be required to first engage in one or more scoping conversations with WRI staff. 

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) & Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC): Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2022 applications due January 25

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. This program will award approximately $2.6 million in grants nationwide. Projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship. Ecological improvements may include one or more of the following: wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation, community tree canopy enhancement, water quality monitoring and green infrastructure best management practices for managing runoff.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund applications due February 3

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announces the 2021 Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund (ECRF) to support projects that increase the resilience of coastal communities impacted by hurricanes and wildfires in 2020 and 2021. Funding for this program was appropriated under the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, 2022 (PL 117-43). The fund supports conservation projects that create and restore natural systems to help protect coastal communities from the impacts of coastal storms, floods, sea-level rise, inundation, coastal erosion, wildfires and associated landslides/debris flows, and enable communities to recover more quickly from these events, all while improving habitats for fish and wildlife species. Eligible counties include Ulster, Sullivan, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, and New York City.

Hudson River Valley Greenway; Community Grant applications due February 4, May 6, September 2, and November 4

The Hudson River Valley Greenway Grant Program provides matching grants to Greenway Communities and Compact Communities. Greenway Communities are eligible to receive up to $10,000 to develop plans or projects consistent with the five Greenway criteria: natural and cultural resource protection, economic development, public access, regional planning, and heritage and environmental education. Higher amounts are awarded for intermunicipal projects. This grant program is open to municipalities that are within the designated Greenway area and have adopted a local board resolution to become a designated “Greenway Community.”
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance unites and empowers communities to protect their local water resources