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$199,801 Awarded for 8 Small Grants Engaging Youth in Great Lakes Environmental Conservation
NY Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program - Press Release

This living shoreline demonstration area is an example of a project made possible by a NY Great Lakes Basin Small Grant to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (BNW). BNW has received a 2021 grant to support a Buffalo Young Environmental Leaders Program. Credit: BNW.

2021 Great Lakes Basin Small Grants: $199,801 Awarded for 8 Projects Engaging Youth in Great Lakes Environmental Conservation 


Dave White, NYSG Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist, E:, P: (315) 312-3042

Megan Kocher, NYSG Great Lakes Outreach Coordinator, E:, P: (716) 645-3011

Oswego, NY, March 9, 2021 — Great Lakes Basin Small Grants are awarded by New York Sea Grant, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program is funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund and Article 14 of Environmental Conservation Law.

2021 award total: $199,801 to eight environmentally-focused youth education projects for youth under the age of 21 become directly involved in addressing New York’s Great Lakes Action Agenda priorities for their local watershed areas. 

The eight projects receiving the 2021 Great Lakes Basin Small Grants are:

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper: $25,000 to enhance its Buffalo Young Environmental Leaders Program, an immersive education and mentoring program for high school students in designated environmental justice communities – partners include Buffalo Public Schools, Niagara Falls High School, Erie Community College, and Niagara University.

Genesee Land Trust: $25,000 for Environmental Ambassadors Workforce Development Program: an opportunity for students to work with career professionals to explore environmental careers related to sustainability, climate change, environmental justice, design, recreation, conservation, and other “green economy” opportunities.

Western New York Land Conservancy: $25,000 for Developing and Implementing Environmental Education Programming in the Niagara River Gorge: youth ambassadors will participate in the development and implementation of an ecological restoration project on the rim of the Niagara Gorge; to include learning about ecological monitoring, invasive species control, and revegetation with plant species to address climate change.

Upstate Freshwater Institute: $24,996 for LOOOP into Education: Integrating Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, and Onondaga Lake into High School Classrooms and Undergraduate Programs: to increase the environmental literacy of underserved students in the project’s three watershed areas through professional training and educational materials and resources .

Friends of Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve: $24,906 for a Great Lakes Data Jam & Environmental Justice Stewards Program: an interactive competitive event in which students analyze and graph local data to identify trends that they share in a scientific report and through creative ways that may include posters, infographics, music, or short movies. 

Clarkson University: $24,899 for Building Capacity for The Water and Habitat on Indian River Lake (WHIRL): this project extends programming established in Jefferson County in 2019 into St. Lawrence, Lewis and Franklin counties with college students leading high school students in activities related to aquatic invasive species management and applying sustainable approaches to mitigate Eurasian watermilfoil.

Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges: $25,000 for a Youth for Water and Climate Action in New York State’s Great Lakes Basin program: training in citizen science water quality monitoring through summer retreats in the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River regions with opportunity to propose regionally-appropriate ecosystem-based management options to watershed community stakeholders.

Rochester Institute of Technology: $25,000 for Plastic Pollution in Lake Ontario: Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEE) for In- and Out-of-School Settings: adapts materials and training for in-school teachers and out-of-school-time educators with an MWEE framework for field study and stewardship projects. 

New York Sea Grant administers the New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program in partnership with DEC. This small grants program is funded by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Visit NYSDEC website for more information on New York’s Great Lakes Action Agenda. More information on New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants projects  available at you'll find additional New York Great Lakes-related information at

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County on Long Island; at Brooklyn College, with New York City Department of Environmental Protection in Queens and at Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

New York Sea Grant Home *  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Home

This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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