Funding to Update Aging Water Infrastructure, Combat Harmful Algal Blooms, Protect Drinking Water, and Prevent Potential Contamination

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that approximately $110 million was awarded to 86 projects through two grant programs to improve water quality across the state. The grant programs support projects that will help protect drinking water, combat contributors to harmful algal blooms, update aging water infrastructure, and improve aquatic habitat in communities statewide, with more than $90 million of the funding supporting water quality improvements in Environmental Justice communities that have been disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution.  


“New York continues to provide historic levels of financial support to ensure all New Yorkers have access to clean water for generations to come,” Governor Hochul said. “We will continue upgrading New York’s aging infrastructure and strengthening our water security — improving the quality of life and public health of communities across the state.”   


The $110 million in grants were administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), with more than $108 million going to 51 projects through the State’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) program and nearly $2 million going to 35 projects through the Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Planning and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Mapping Grant (NPG). New York State continues to prioritize funding for projects that may help decrease the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Nearly half of the WQIP and NPG awarded grants, totaling approximately $45 million, will support projects in watersheds known to have experienced HABs in the past five years and/or help implement a project identified in a DEC HABs Action Plan


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Hochul continues to demonstrate her commitment to improving water quality, I know how important it is to her. She recognizes that we can’t sustain the health of our communities and environment without access to clean water. The grants announced today will help communities across the state safeguard our drinking water so families know they have access to something that’s not a privilege, but a human right.” 


The WQIP grant program funds projects that directly improve water quality or aquatic habitat, or protect a drinking water source. Supported in part by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and Clean Water Infrastructure Improvement Act funding, WQIP projects include municipal wastewater treatment upgrades, non-agricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, land acquisition projects for source water protection, salt storage construction, aquatic connectivity restoration, and marine habitat restoration.  


The NPG program funds projects that help pay for the initial planning of non-agricultural nonpoint source water quality improvement projects, such as undersized culvert replacements and green infrastructure technologies, and State permit-required storm sewer mapping in urban areas. When implemented, these projects will reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff entering lakes, rivers, and streams, and improve resiliency against climate impacts. This grant is supported by the State’s EPF, which Governor Hochul’s 2023-24 Executive Budget sustains at a historic $400 million. The EPF provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda. 


The full list of awardees can be found at for WQIP and for NPG. Examples of the 51 projects funded in this round that highlight the breadth and scope of WQIP awards include:   


Wastewater Improvement Projects:  

  • Onondaga County – $10 Million for Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure, Combined Sewer Overflow/Sanitary Sewer Overflow Reduction (Central New York): The county will repair and/or replace the force main sewer collection system in the areas of Ley Creek and Liverpool, improving the water quality of Onondaga Lake.   

  • Town of Chenango – $10 Million for Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements (Southern Tier): The town will add new treatment technology at its Northgate facility to help meet State standards and improve water quality by reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the Chenango River and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.      

  • Buffalo Sewer Authority – $10 Million for Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure, Combined Sewer Overflow/Sanitary Sewer Overflow Pollution Reduction (Western New York): Buffalo Sewer Authority will improve wastewater treatment equipment at the Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Facility, including rehabilitating primary sedimentation tanks and associated sludge pumping and piping, and installing a new disinfection facility. This project will provide a higher level of primary treatment for wet weather flows through the facility and improve the quality of water entering the Niagara River. This builds upon the announcement in October that construction began on the wastewater improvement project at Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Facility. 

  • Town of Hermon – $718,400 for Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements (North Country): The town will upgrade their wastewater treatment facility by adding ultraviolet disinfection equipment, improving the water quality of Elm Creek.   


Nonpoint Source Abatement Projects:  

  • New York City Department of Environmental Protection – $2 million for Green Infrastructure Practices (New York City): City-owned street medians will be upgraded with green infrastructure practices to protect local water quality and address inland flooding challenges.    

  • City of Plattsburgh – $817,525 for Bathing Beach Restoration (North Country): The city will implement green infrastructure projects at the City Beach. Practices will include stormwater tree trenches and bioretention areas to capture stormwater runoff from impervious areas. The project will reduce nutrients, sediment, and stormwater flow to the Cumberland Bay segment of Lake Champlain.    

  • Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District – $610,000 for a Road Ditch Stabilization Program (Finger Lakes): The Soil and Water Conservation District will implement a roadside stabilization program in the towns of Canadice and Bristol. The program will slow stormwater flow, reduce roadside erosion, and reduce the amount of nutrients and other contaminants that could enter the Rochester drinking water supply and Mill Creek in the Genesee River watershed.   

  • Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District – $432,555 for Streambank/Shoreline Stabilization (Western New York): The Soil and Water Conservation District will implement stream grading, and vegetative buffers at multiple locations in Chautauqua County. The project will reduce erosion, sediment, and nutrients in the Chautauqua Lake watershed.   


Land Acquisition Projects to Protect Drinking Water Sources:  

  • City of Watervliet – $480,000 for Land Acquisition to Protect Watervliet Reservoir (Capital District): The city will acquire a 58-acre parcel of land adjacent to their drinking water source, the Watervliet Reservoir. Acquiring this parcel will protect the reservoir from potential pollution associated with development or certain land use activities. The land will remain as undeveloped forest, acting as a natural riparian buffer for the reservoir.  


Salt Storage:  

  • Town of Indian Lake – $225,000 for New Shared Salt Storage Facility (North Country): The town will construct a salt storage facility to cover their currently exposed salt pile. The salt stored in this structure will be used by both the town of Indian Lake and Hamilton County. The structure will protect the water quality of the Cedar River and adjacent groundwater.   


Aquatic Connectivity Restoration:  

  • Ulster County – $250,000 for Aquatic Connectivity Restoration (Mid-Hudson): The county will replace a failing and undersized stream culvert in a tributary to the Sawkill Creek in Woodstock. The project will connect 2.2 miles of aquatic habitat and alleviate flooding events in the Lower Esopus Creek watershed.  


Marine Habitat Restoration:  

  • Save the Sound – $749,976 for Marine Habitat Restoration (New York City): Save the Sound will restore four acres of salt marsh and install oyster castles and vegetation along 1,100 linear feet of shoreline. The oyster castles and vegetation will filter nutrients from stormwater and stabilize marsh banks in Udalls Cove.  

  • Seatuck Environmental Association – $320,000 for Marine Habitat Restoration (Long Island): The Seatuck Environmental Association will implement a fish passage at the Mill Pond dam in Wantagh. The project will provide passage for aquatic biota and fish access to freshwater spawning habitat in Bellmore Creek. 


Examples of the 35 projects funded in this round that highlight the breadth and scope of NPG awards include:  


Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Mapping:  

  • Onondaga County Office of the Environment- $396,000 for MS4 Mapping (Central New York): The Onondaga County Office of the Environment will work with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board to complete comprehensive mapping of storm sewer systems for 30 regulated MS4s in the Syracuse area. Mapping will include all basic and additional element data to facilitate better management of their regulated stormwater systems.   

  • Town of Orangetown – $75,000 for MS4 Mapping (Mid-Hudson): The town will hire an engineering firm to complete comprehensive mapping of storm sewer systems in the Hackensack River, Lower Nauraushaun Brook, and Lower Hudson River Estuary watersheds. Mapping will include all basic element data for regulated stormwater system management.   

  • Town of New Windsor – $75,000 for MS4 Mapping (Mid-Hudson): The town will complete comprehensive mapping of the stormwater system. The project will include mapping of priority areas and proposed stormwater retrofits.  


Nonpoint Source Planning Reports:  

  • Town of Seneca Falls – $30,000 for Stream Culvert Repair and Replacement (Finger Lakes): The town will prepare an engineering report to address a failing stream culvert on Bayard Street. The project will reduce erosion in the Cayuga Lake watershed.

  • Allegany County Soil and Water Conservation District – $30,000 for Streambank/Shoreline Stabilization (Western New York): The Soil and Water Conservation District will complete a streambank stabilization survey and engineering design plan to stabilize an eroding streambank in the Town of Caneadea. The project will reduce the erosion of nutrients into the Genesee River and protect infrastructure in the area.   

  • Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District – $75,000 for Comprehensive Stream Corridor Assessment (Central New York): The Soil and Water Conservation District will prepare a comprehensive stream corridor assessment, including flood risks, for the Trout Brook and Smith Brook watersheds using the North American Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative framework. The report will enhance data for over 70 miles of stream corridor and document priorities for erosion control.  


New York’s Commitment to Clean Water  

New York continues to increase its investments in clean water infrastructure. Most recently, in the 2023 State of the State and Executive Budget, Governor Hochul proposed investing an additional $500 million in clean water funding, bringing New York’s total clean water infrastructure investment to $5 billion since 2017. To leverage these investments and ensure ongoing coordination with local governments, the Governor proposed the creation of Community Assistance Teams to provide proactive outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities to help them access financial assistance to address their clean water infrastructure needs. The initiative was recently launched and outreach meetings are underway. For more information, go to    


In addition, voters approved the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act in November 2022, advancing additional, historic levels of funding to update aging water infrastructure and protect water quality, strengthen communities’ ability to withstand severe storms and flooding, reduce air pollution and lower climate-altering emissions, restore habitats, preserve outdoor spaces and local farms, and ensure equity by investing at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of resources in disadvantaged communities.  


About the Consolidated Funding Application                 

The grants announced today were issued following completion through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. The CFA was created to streamline and expedite grant applications and marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.

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