MakingWaves - Funding for Dam Repairs; Septic System Program; LIS Futures Fund; Look for the Zero; Environmental Excellence Awards

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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MakingWaves - News From the Division of Water

In This Issue:

  • Funding Available to Support High Hazard Dam Repairs
  • State Septic System Replacement Program
  • The Long Island Sound Futures Fund 2021 Request for Proposals
  • Look for the Zero: Use Only Phosphorus-Free Lawn Fertilizer
  • DEC Announces Winners of 17th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards
  • “Protect Our Watershed” Poster Contest Winners Announced 

Funding Available to Support High Hazard Dam Repairs

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners with infrastructure repair costs. Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant program. Of the dozens of states that applied to this federal program, New York was one of two states that received the maximum amount of funding. DEC is now accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.

The deadline for applications is June 11, 2021. The Request for Applications is available online through the NYS Grants Gateway.

State Septic System Replacement Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced $15 million in funding is available through the State Septic System Replacement Program to support homeowners. New York State will provide funds to counties to reimburse eligible property owners for a portion of the cost of replacing cesspools and septic systems and installing more environmentally effective systems.

The program is a collaboration between the DEC, Department of Health, Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), and participating counties to administer funding to qualifying homeowners. A list of eligible counties and priority geographic areas within those counties is available on EFC's website

The Long Island Sound Futures Fund 2021 Request for Proposals

The Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) is seeking proposals to protect and restore the health of the Long Island Sound and associated habitats. Approximately $5 million is available for grants in the categories of implementation, design/planning, community science/water quality monitoring, and education & public participation. Proposals are due by May 27, 2021.

Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local government, municipal government, Indian tribes, and educational institutions.
For more information, visit the LISFF 2021 RFP webpage

The LISFF program is managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Long Island Sound Study, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Look for the Zero: Use Only Phosphorus-Free Lawn Fertilizer

Picture of a bag of fertilizer showing numbers with zero in the middleDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the launch of the state’s annual "Look for the Zero" public awareness campaign that encourages homeowners to go phosphorus-free when using lawn fertilizer. DEC is encouraging consumers to review bag labels for phosphorus content when shopping for fertilizer. Fertilizer labels have three numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product.

Regardless of the lawn's location, excess phosphorus can wash off and pollute lakes and streams, harming fish and ruining boating and swimming. More than 100 water bodies in New York State cannot be used or enjoyed due to phosphorus overuse. For more information, visit DEC's Lawn Fertilizer webpage.

DEC Announces Winners of 17th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards

Environmental Excellence Award

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has recognized four organizations and institutions as winners of the 17th annual Environmental Excellence Awards. The Environmental Excellence Awards are presented in recognition of each organization's innovative programs and outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability. A review committee of representatives from the public and private sectors helped select the award winners.

The 17th annual Environmental Excellence Award winners are:

  • WE ACT Youth Environmental Health & Justice Training, New York City
  • SUNY Buffalo (UB) Advancing Climate Change Through Clean Energy, Erie County
  • Upper Susquehanna Coalition (USC) Best Management Practices for Agriculture, Flood Plain Management, and Habitat, Tioga County
  • Suffolk County Department of Health Services Septic Improvement Program, Suffolk County

“Protect Our Watershed” Poster Contest Winners Announced

Protect our watershed winning posterDEC and the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 winners of the annual Protect Our Watershed Poster Contest for middle school students. The 14 winning posters will be featured in DEC and NYWEA’s 2022 Annual Calendar. This year’s top winner (poster pictured) is Elijah, from P.S.195 City Honors School in Buffalo.