New York offers $4.5 million for justice-related environmental restoration

On April 17, 2018, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced approximately $4.5 million in Community Impact Grant funding is available to support communities across New York that are disproportionately impacted by pollution and toxins.

Community Impact Grants provide community-based organizations with funding for projects that address various environmental and public health concerns, with a particular focus on low-income and minority communities historically burdened by environmental problems.

All New Yorkers deserve to live in a safe, healthy environment and these grants help to ensure that families and communities across the state, regardless of socioeconomic status, are given the support they need to implement green projects,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York will continue to lead the nation in environmental initiatives that protect New Yorkers and the planet, creating a cleaner and greener future for all.”

Community Impact Grants, a critical component of Governor Cuomo’s aggressive Environmental Justice agenda, are funded through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation‘s Office of Environmental Justice. Funded projects include targeted research, community gardens, tree plantings, education and curriculum development, urban farming training, habitat restoration, as well as water and air quality monitoring. Since 2006, more than $5 million has been distributed for 145 Environmental Justice projects statewide.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “At Governor Cuomo’s direction, DEC professionals and community leaders across the state are working hand-in-hand to identify environmental vulnerabilities in New York’s underserved and economically disadvantaged communities. Together, we are developing smart and sustainable solutions that best serve and protect individual communities based on participation and input we receive from concerned residents. Policies, regulations, enforcement efforts, and laws are being shaped with the help of those most closely impacted and grants are being targeted to support initiatives and communities most in need.

Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright said, “Environmental justice communities have been historically disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of pollution and climate change. These grants empower underserved communities and help them tackle projects that best fit their needs. By coupling these grants with smart policy, we can help to mitigate the harmful effects of environmental degradation.”

Funding will be distributed to communities around the state, and for the first time in the program’s history, interested organizations can request up to $100,000 for proposed projects. Not-for-profit community-based organizations are eligible to apply for Community Impact Grants to work on projects that address environmental and public health concerns of residents in impacted neighborhoods. Projects must address a community’s exposure to multiple harms and risks and include a research component that will be used to expand the knowledge of the affected community.

Organizations must have their have their primary office located in the affected community, serve the residents of an area equal to or smaller than a town or city outside of New York City, or an area equal to or smaller than one of the five boroughs within New York City, and must address environmental or public health issues of the residents of the affected community. Further eligibility information is available online at the Grant Opportunity Portal.

Questions regarding this grant opportunity will be accepted until July 2, 2018. All questions and answers will be uploaded in the Grants Gateway on a rolling basis. Applicants are required to register and prequalify in the Grants Gateway before applying. This web-based grant management tool is used to improve the way grants are administered by the state. Once registered and prequalified, organizations can apply for the grant in the Grants Gateway. Instructions and application are available online at the Grants Gateway website.

The deadline to submit an application for the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant is 3 p.m. on July 9, 2018.

For a complete list of guidelines and more information, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice at 518-402-2600, email or visit the DEC’s Environmental Justice web page.

Featured image courtesy of Wake Forest University.

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