From the Office of Environmental Justice

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Community Impact Grants Will Support Green Jobs Training, Air Quality and Street Trash Elimination Projects

Governor Announces Additional $1 Million in Grants Available for Green Jobs Training

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $1.4 million has been awarded to 24 community organizations across New York to support green jobs, air quality and street trash elimination projects. In addition, $1 million through 2017 Green Jobs for Youth is available to support job training programs for eligible organizations serving communities that face multiple sources of environmental burdens and risks.

"New York remains a leader in environmental action, and by supporting communities as they implement green projects across the state, we can ensure a cleaner, better future for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "These awards, in addition to $1 million in funding made available for green jobs training, will ensure New York is fostering job growth, while making clean water, air, and green infrastructure improvements across the state."

Bronx River Announcement

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo announced the winners of the 2016-17 Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants today at an event at Hunts Point Riverside Park in the Bronx. Grants were awarded to organizations in New York City, the Mid-Hudson Valley, Capital Region and Central New York.

The Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program is administered by DEC with funds from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. In the last three years, the Governor has increased New York’s investment in environmental justice programs and projects from $2 million to a record $8 million and has sustained this commitment this year. In the 2016-17 grant cycle, the maximum grant award was $50,000.

Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants were awarded to:

New York Metropolitan Area:

  • Waterway and Street Trash Elimination: $40,261, Bronx River Alliance
  • Creating a Streetscape: $47,707, Concrete Safaris, Inc.
  • Lower East Side Environmental Resiliency Project: $50,000, Cooper Square Community Development
  • Riverside Maritime Trail Park Plan: $50,000, Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, Inc.
  • Tibbetts Brook & Van Cortlandt Lake Study: $29,924, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
  • Gowanus Blue Schools: $49,999, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Inc.
  • Youth Tillers Green Jobs Corp: $48,498, The Youth Farm
  • East River Park Restoration Program: $35,080, Outstanding Renewal Enterprises, Inc. dba Lower East Side Ecology Center
  • Shore Corps: Green Stewards Youth Internship and Workforce Development Program: $50,000, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Inc.
  • Measuring Bronx River Water Quality and Pathogen Levels: Awareness Leading to Empowerment: $48,162, Rocking the Boat, Inc.
  • Good Earth, Good Gardens: $40,120, Starflower Experiences, Inc.
  • THE POINT Urban Farm Rainwater Capture System and Pollinator Rain Garden: $37,576, Sustainable South Bronx
  • The Program for Leaders Advancing their Community’s Environment: $50,000, The Bronx is Blooming
  • Give Trees a Chance: Environmental Justice in South Brooklyn: $50,000, The Green-Wood Historic Fund
  • East New York Compost Project: $50,000, United Community Centers, Inc.

Mid-Hudson Valley:

  • Poughkeepsie Gardens: $50,000, Poughkeepsie Farm Project
  • Training the Next Generation of Growers: $44,288, YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County

Capital Region:

  • North Bay ReGeneration Project: Greening the Future: $49,714: Kite’s Nest
  • Uptown Summer: Environmental Stewards of North Troy: $49,940, Media Alliance
  • Albany South End Environmental Justice Project: $50,000, A Village
  • Growing Green Roofs in North Central Troy: $50,000, Capital Roots

Central New York:

  • City of Auburn Healthy Homes Initiative: $33,805, Homesite Fund, Inc.
  • Healthy Homes Workshops & Development Program: $47,026, NEHDA Inc.
  • Youth Exploration in Improving Air Quality: $49,965, Onondaga Earth Corps, Inc.

Projects eligible to receive these grants include, but are not limited to: inventories of polluting facilities in the community; air monitoring; green rooftops; urban tree planting; community gardens; alternative energy projects; and lead and mercury removal projects.

Since its inception in 2006, the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program has awarded more than $5 million to support community-based projects that address environmental and/or public health concerns. The program has a particular focus on low-income communities and communities of color that have historically been disproportionately burdened by environmental stressors, such as a concentration of regulated facilities or contaminated sites, noise, air and water pollution, health problems, and lack of green space and waterfront access.

$1 Million Available for Green Jobs for Youth Grants
To ensure all New Yorkers benefit from an expanding clean and green economy, DEC released a request for applications for $1 million from the EPF for the 2017 Green Jobs for Youth grants. These grants will support community based organization projects to improve local green workforce development in the fields of clean energy, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture.

Grant awards range from $50,000 to $100,000. More information is available here.

Governor Cuomo recently announced a new Environmental Justice and Just Transition Working Group, to focus on developing policies and programs to ensure a “just transition” to a green and clean energy future. The working group will advise the administration on the integration of environmental justice and just transition principles into all agency policies, and to shape environmental justice programs identified in the 2017 State of the State and inform what work products would assist in this effort. The first working group session will convene in July.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "These Community Impact Grants will provide critical funding to these outstanding organizations and projects. From street and waterway trash elimination and connecting communities to nature, to green jobs training and air quality monitoring, these projects will help to improve quality of life for communities facing multiple environmental burdens."

Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo said, "I am proud to stand with NYSDEC to present these invaluable Environmental Justice Grants. The Bronx in particular has seen its fair share of drastic impacts due to policies that neglected the long term impact on residents’ health and well-being. Yet community based organizations arose and fought back, reversed the trend and have helped spur a tremendous. Environmental and economic development renaissance. Today we continue to invest in this effort for all NY communities."

Assemblyman and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright said, "A grant program is a great tool to help serve environmental justice communities. Climate change and pollution disproportionately affect these communities and it is important that we provide resources to help mitigate those negative effects. Perhaps most importantly, these grant opportunities will provide funding to ensure that environmental justice communities can identify problems and target resources accordingly. After all, they know their communities best. For example, a community could decide to provide job training to help redevelop sustainable, energy-efficient, affordable homes and properties while also establishing a skilled clean energy and infrastructure workforce while another might opt to focus on air quality. These grants will provide them with those options."

For more information on the Environmental Justice Grants Program, visit the DEC website at or contact the DEC Office of Environmental Justice at 518-402-8556.


Additional news available at
New York State | Executive Chamber | | 518.474.8418

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Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor * Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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