NYS Attorney General Marks Earth Day With River Grants

Apr 22, 2013

Credit Eden pictures, flickr

The New York State attorney general is marking Earth Day by announcing nearly $4 million in grants to help improve water quality in the Bronx River. Ten entities in the Bronx and Westchester are on the receiving end.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his Bronx River Watershed Initiative has dedicated more than $2.1 million to support local efforts in the Bronx and Westchester County focused on restoring water quality in the waterway by controlling storm water runoff and snow melt. The matching-grant amount is more than $1.83 million, bringing the total to nearly $4 million. The restoration grants are for green infrastructure projects.

One such project emanates from a grant for Rocking the Boat, a Bronx-based youth development organization. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to row and sail, and restore local, urban waterways, revitalizing communities while attaining goals and self-confidence.

That’s Adam Green, founder and executive director of Rocking the Boat. He says the latest grant money for his organization is for a seaweed-growing project in conjunction with the University of Connecticut at Stamford.

Green infrastructure projects, like the seawood project, aim to combat storm water runoff and by treating it once it has been released.

Paul Feiner is the supervisor of the Westchester Town of Greenburgh, another of the grant recipients. He says he is pleased about the grant that will help the town address flooding issues.

And that flooding was exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, and other storms.

Additional funding recipients include, in Westchester, the Villages of Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Tuckahoe. Others are The Wildlife Conservation Society; The Bronx River Art Center; the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; The Bronx River Alliance; and the New York City Soil and Water Conservation District.

The funding announced Monday is a portion of the more than $7 million the attorney general’s office obtained in settlements as part of its Bronx River Watershed Initiative. In 2007, the office reached a settlement with the City of Yonkers to end its discharges of untreated sewage into the Bronx River.

Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is sponsoring events all week to mark the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, first held on April 22 in 1970, the same year New York's DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were created.