Grant Archive

Past Mohawk River Watershed Grants

2019 Mohawk River Watershed Grants

$500,000 is available in funding for Round 5 of the Mohawk River Watershed Grants Program. Grant awards ranging from $15,000 to $100,000 are available for the Project Types listed below. All projects must have defined measurable outcomes or deliverables that can be completed within two years of contract approval AND be located within the geographic boundaries of the Mohawk River watershed.

Project Type 1:  Flood Hazard Risk Reduction and Enhanced Flood Resiliency

Applicants may apply for projects that will promote flood hazard risk reduction and enhanced flood resiliency of Mohawk River watershed communities. Eligible projects are:

  • Inventory and map critical infrastructure and facility assets and assess options to reduce flood risk. Assessment of options to mitigate risk may include: adaptation, relocation, building, decommissioning, or innovative approaches to reduce flood risk. Assessment of options must include a detailed cost-benefit analysis as well as identification of any environmental benefits and/or trade-offs, such as impacts to water quality and habitat.
  • Projects, including project plans and conceptual designs, or actions recommended in the Milone and MacBroom, Inc (MMI) Emergency Transportation Infrastructure Recovery Water Basin Assessment(s) and Flood Hazard Mitigation Alternatives (April 2014), Bellinger Brook Watershed Analysis Report (May 2018), and Flood Mitigation Study - Schoharie Watershed (April 2017) as listed below:
    • Bellinger Brook at the Village of Herkimer, Herkimer County
    • Bellinger Brook Watershed, Herkimer County
    • East Canada Creek, Herkimer County
    • Fulmer Creek, Herkimer County
    • Maltanner Creek, Herkimer County
    • Moyer Creek, Herkimer County
    • Nowadaga Creek, Herkimer County
    • Steele Creek, Herkimer County
    • West Canada Creek, Herkimer County
    • Otsquago Creek, Montgomery County
    • Big Creek, Oneida County
    • Mud Creek, Oneida County
    • Oriskany Creek, Oneida County
    • Sauquoit Creek, Oneida County
    • Schoharie Watershed: Schoharie, Albany, Montgomery, Otsego and Schenectady Counties (eligible projects must be in the portion of the Schoharie Watershed located within the boundaries of the Mohawk River watershed)

Project Type 2:  Environmental Education, Stewardship and Community Engagement

Applicants may apply for projects that improve stewardship of the Mohawk River watershed through creating and fostering partnerships and stakeholder engagement through education, outreach and collaboration. Projects may include development of plans, purchase of equipment, development of web sites or mobile phone apps, and/or construction or physical improvements, as described under “eligible projects.” Note that the word “plan” is deemed too broadly include: plans, feasibility studies, designs and related permitting activities, etc. Eligible projects are:

  • Community-based environmental education programs that enhance education about the Mohawk River and its watershed and which make opportunities to learn about the Mohawk River and its watershed more accessible for a wide range of people.
  • Development or expansion of Mohawk River watershed-based curricula and educational materials; development of programs such as festivals, recreational events, or art installations that promote the natural, cultural, recreational and historic resources of the Mohawk River watershed.
  • Projects on or in sight of the shoreline of the Mohawk River to plan, design, equip and/or construct facilities (including signage, exhibits and art installations) to be used for education of family, tourists and residents so that they may learn about the Mohawk River watershed and understand its value and the benefits it provides, and which encourage active engagement in stewardship of the Mohawk River and its watershed or to undertake related citizen science projects.
  • The purchase, construction, or repair of vessels or vehicles specifically used as floating or mobile classrooms with education programming purposely focused on watershed ecology, natural history, and water quality. Such projects should strive to be inclusive of individuals with diverse needs and abilities.
  • Creation of web applications for engaging the use of the internet, mobile devices or social media designed to expand the audience for science-based information about the natural history of the Mohawk River watershed, promote a natural-history-based sense of place, and engage users in stewardship of the Mohawk River and its watershed. Such projects should strive to be inclusive of individuals with diverse needs and abilities.

Project Type 3:  Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management

Applicants may apply for projects that seek to conserve, protect or enhance fish, wildlife and associated aquatic and riparian habitats in the Mohawk River watershed. Eligible projects are:

  • Inventory, monitor and assess the condition of important fish, wildlife and habitat resources; define functional relationships between these resources (e.g. species population, community, ecosystem) and key drivers/stressors such as temperature, discharges, and water quality at the watershed, river, tributary or reach levels. Project may include process-oriented research on trophic pathways, food webs and important interactions.
  • Survey, classify and inventory the quality of habitats within the Mohawk River watershed, prioritizing those in need of either protection (high-quality and threatened) or restoration (impaired). Creation of restoration or protection plan(s) and long-term monitoring program(s) for these habitats that assess the effectiveness and functional benefits of restoration or protection measures on targeted resources.
  • Management and control of aquatic or terrestrial invasive species in the watershed through implementation of achievable and targeted invasive species management and eradication projects. Projects will require development and approval of an Invasive Species Management Plan that includes using a modeling program for success called IPMDAT ( In addition, partners will also be required to use iMap Invasives for treatment reports for historical and reference purposes to monitor future outcomes of dollars spent.
  • Conduct a natural resource inventory (NRI) that compiles, describes, and maps important natural resources in a municipality, county, watershed, or region. The NRI can be a stand-alone municipal plan or be included in a municipal comprehensive plan, open space plan, conservation plan, or a watershed plan. An NRI may include scenic and cultural resources as long as natural resources are fully covered by the NRI.  Communities may choose which resources are included in the inventory or plan; however, to be eligible for this RFA, inventories/plans must include the following:
    • Water resources;
    • Habitats and wildlife; and
    • Natural areas important for climate resilience.
  • Develop a connectivity plan that identifies opportunities and strategies for acquiring lands and waters to preserve important connections for wildlife habitat, stream corridors, large forests, and overall ecological resiliency. The project should be science-based and include at least two municipalities, or a municipality with a conservation partner such as a land trust.

Note:  Applicants are strongly encouraged to use or refer to New York State’s Local Open Space Planning Guide, and if applicable, should refer to any existing municipal inventories or plans that will provide foundations for the grant project, or which are proposed to be updated. Applications should also include a process for public participation and/or education to engage stakeholders and build support for implementation.

2017 Mohawk River Watershed Grants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has awarded more than $200,000 in grant funding for six projects. The grants, funded by the state's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) will help to improve water quality, promote resiliency and create recreational opportunities for watershed communities, all goals outlined the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. Grants have been awarded to the following organizations:

Oneida County Soil and Water Conservation District: Ninemile Creek Natural Channel Stream Bank Stabilization Project ($50,000)

The Oneida County SWCD in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will stabilize 200 feet of the southern bank of Ninemile Creek to restore the stream bank and reduce downstream sedimentation through creation of a natural, self-maintaining stable stream that will improve aquatic habitat.

Research Foundation for SUNY Polytechnic Institute: Determination of Baseline and Augmented Conditions of Microbial Indicators in the Mohawk River ($50,000)

Building upon positive results of an initial 2016 SUNY Poly study, this project proposes to construct baseline distributions of the microbial indicators E.coli and enterococci at 10 locations in the Utica/Rome area of the watershed, as well as seek to identify microbial contaminant sources, predict microbial concentrations following rain events, and provide guidance on the risk/recover of the river to microbial contamination events.

Onondaga Environmental Institute: Lessons for the Mohawk River: Youth Engagement and Environmental Stewardship ($42,227)

A continuation of a previous Mohawk River Basin Program grant where the Onondaga Environmental Institute partnered with the Oriskany school district to develop and pilot classroom lessons and field trips about the Mohawk River watershed, stream ecology and water quality, this project seeks to expand the number of students reached by providing teachers with tools and support to incorporate this curriculum into their classrooms, and ultimately help normalize the incorporation of Mohawk River watershed-based lessons into schools throughout the watershed.

Town of Niskayuna: Aqueduct Park River Access Upgrades ($37,825)

Creation of a new bulkhead, dock anchoring system, walkway and stormwater management measures at a Mohawk River public access point in Aqueduct Park. This proposal will improve water quality by reduction of riverbank erosion, improve public access to the river, protect existing docks from severe weather and flooding and create a safer, more accessible gangway to the docks for people launching kayaks and canoes.

Trustees of Union College: Investigation of Microplastic Pollution in Tributaries of the Mohawk River ($15,630)

A continuation of previous Mohawk River Basin Program grant which demonstrated that microplastic pollution is pervasive in the Mohawk River, but which remained unclear as to specific sources. This project will focus on clarifying the role of tributaries in delivering microplastics to the Mohawk River and will involve collecting samples of river water from tributaries along the length of the Mohawk River and quantifying the microplastic load from each tributary.

Research Foundation for SUNY Brockport: Mapping Manure-Sensitive Karst Zones for Farmers in Schoharie County ($14,842)

Identification and mapping of sinkholes and other karst-related features utilizing oblique imagery, which will be converted into GIS shapefiles. Mapping will be provided to farmers and other interested agencies to implement manure management practices to protect domestic groundwater supplies, reducing the potential recharge of liquid manure into the carbonate aquifer via sinkholes and thinly soiled karst features. A brochure will be produced on how to identify karst and a workshop conducted to share maps and findings with agricultural planners, and a field trip that will include a Google earth/iPhone demonstration.

2015 Mohawk River Watershed Grants

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Awards Third Round of Mohawk River Watershed Grants

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation awarded more than $155,000 in Mohawk River Basin Program grants for four projects in the Mohawk River watershed. These grants, funded by the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) will help to improve water quality, promote resiliency and create recreational opportunities in the communities, all in keeping with the goals outlined in the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Oneida County Soil and Water Conservation District: $50,000 for the Washington Mills Sewer Line Protection and Streambank Stabilization project.  This project involves the stabilization of an existing sanitary sewer line in the Sauquoit Creek that is exposed as a result of streambank erosion. This project will also restore the stream's natural function and improve habitat in this urbanized and channelized stretch of Sauquoit Creek. This stretch of stream has been encroached upon by development which has created a barrier to fish passage within the channel. A low flow channel will be installed to accommodate fish passage in low water.

Research Foundation for SUNY Cobleskill: $50,000 for the Community Science Water Quality Monitoring to Support Data Collection, Student Engagement and Public Outreach project. SUNY Cobleskill and its partners will perform water sampling blitzes from May through October in the Mohawk River and its major tributaries. Results from each testing blitz will be analyzed and mapped to help identify trends of chronic or unexpected contamination. Additionally, K-12 STEM educators from Middleburgh High School and the Madison Oneida BOCES New Visions Program in Utica will be trained to use standard testing and analysis procedures and will serve as liaisons with community members.

Onondaga Environmental Institute: $40,473 for the Lessons for the Mohawk River, Youth Engagement and Environmental Stewardship project. This project will engage youth through classroom lessons and field activities for students in the New York Mills, Oriskany, Utica and Waterville school districts. Students will learn about key ecological, watershed and anthropogenic concepts critical to the understanding of the Mohawk River ecosystem. Educational programs designed to increase environmental awareness and stewardship will focus on the Mohawk River watershed. Student posters about issues impacting the Mohawk River watershed will be on display at various schools and/or local libraries so students and adults can recognize their role in preserving the health of the Mohawk River.

The College of Saint Rose: $15,200 for the Investigation of Microplastic Pollution in the Mohawk River project. Undergraduate science students from the College of Saint Rose will partner with the Schoharie River Center in Burtonsville to collect Mohawk River water and sediment samples from Rome, NY to the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers in Waterford, NY. The samples will help quantify microplastic particle pollution and help identify potential pollution sources to better understand the environmental threat posed by microplastics in personal care products. Maps showing microplastic concentrations and potential sources will be prepared and made available for use by state, regional and local entities.

2012 Mohawk River Basin Program Mini-Grants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's 2012 Mohawk River Basin Program Mini-Grants

In 2012, approximately $50,000 was awarded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Mohawk River Basin Program for the first grant program that specifically targeted projects within the Mohawk River watershed. This inaugural round of funding offered grants up to a maximum of $10,000 and were available to municipalities and not-for-profit corporations, with the stipulation that all projects be located within the boundaries of the Mohawk River watershed, facilitated implementation of the five goals and associated objectives of the Mohawk’s Action Agenda, and could be completed within one year of grant contract award. In all, six proposed projects were awarded grant funds and are described below:

  • Bintz Conservation Easement – Schenectady County: Protection of approximately 117 acres of active, working farmland and associated natural areas within the Town of Glenville through a conservation easement.
  • Niskayuna Waterfront Development – Schenectady County: Feasibility study to assess upgrades to Aqueduct Park. Study assessed the viability of building a community facility/boathouse on lands adjacent to the park, which would include improved public comfort stations and historic displays.
  • Schoharie River Center – Schoharie and Montgomery Counties: Continuation of existing and expansion of volunteer Environmental Study Team program, targeting youth in grades 7-12, in at-risk, environmental justice areas, and instructing team members in conducting water quality monitoring activities in the Mohawk River watershed’s streams and tributaries.
  • Schoharie County Recreation Map – Schoharie County: Development of an inventory of recreational opportunities within Schoharie County which will be developed and distributed in the form of a GIS-based web and paper map.
  • Mohawk Landings Park Connection – Albany County: Establishment of a trail connection from the Town of Colonie’s Mohawk Landings Park to the Colonie Bike Path and the Mohawk River to enhance opportunities for passive recreational opportunities.
  • Along the Bike Trail Guides – Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery Counties: Research, writing, printing and distribution of guide books for use of the Mohawk River Bike/Hike Trail in Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery Counties.