ALBANY — New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that $190,000 is available for the evaluation of road stream crossings to prevent potential flooding and improve aquatic habitats in the Great Lakes Watershed. This includes counties in the North Country, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions.
Commissioner Ball said, “The funding being provided through this program will help the State proactively address potential flooding that could impact both our residential and agricultural communities, including crop damage and loss. It will also give our Soil and Water Conservation Districts the opportunity to prioritize crossings that may be affecting the habitats of our fish and other aquatic life.”
Road stream crossings, or culverts, are structures that allow water to flow under a roadway. Throughout New York, undersized and poorly placed road stream crossings can serve as barriers for fish passage and other aquatic life. They can lead to hazardous flooding, property damage, crop loss, and reduction in water quality. Funding grants of up to $10,000 will support assessment projects conducted by Soil and Water Conservation Districts to determine replacement and improvement needs.
Funding is provided through the Environmental Protection Fund, and the program is administered by the Department, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC is proud to be a partner in this important program, which will rely on sensible solutions to ensure fish and other aquatic life are protected and allowed to thrive in their natural habitat. These resources will help communities become more resilient in the wake of severe storms and weather events.”
Dale Stein, Chairman of the NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee said, “This opportunity is yet another great example of the strong partnership among the NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Agriculture and Markets, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts. This funding will provide another valuable tool for Districts in the wider Great Lakes region to help improve passage of aquatic life through undersized culverts and other stream crossings and assist communities and landowners to be more resilient in the wake of storm and flood events. I applaud Conservation Districts in their efforts to help improve communities, farmers, and residents throughout their counties.”
To apply for funding, applicants must submit their project proposals to the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee by March 31, 2017.
The Department, through its various divisions and programs, promotes New York agriculture and its high-quality and diverse products, fosters agricultural environmental stewardship, and safeguards the State’s food supply, land and livestock to ensure the viability and growth of New York’s agriculture industries. The Department’s Land and Water Division works to protect New York’s land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation, and proactive environmental stewardship.
The Department operates the Great New York State Fair, and administers the Taste NY initiative, the FreshConnect and New York State Grown and Certified programs. Follow the Department on its Facebook page and on Twitter.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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