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New York’s Great Lakes Basin Small Grants: 2021 Grants Underwrite Outreach to Engage Youth Audiences
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2022)

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


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

New York Sea Grant administers a small grants program in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to advance New York’s Great Lakes Basin Action Agenda priorities.

Buffalo, NY, August 10, 2022 - Since its inception in 2015, the New York Great Lakes Basin (NYGLB) Small Grants Program has awarded more than $1.2 million to projects that address the needs and issues identified by New York’s Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River watershed communities. Grants of up to $25,000 have been awarded to projects in partnership with not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, county and local government or public agencies, regional planning and environmental commissions, and educational institutions.

Each Small Grant-recipient project is focused on the implementation of Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) concepts and principles that encompass the entire ecosystem, versus a single issue/single species focus and incorporates stakeholder participation. Funding priorities were identified and selected from New York’s Great Lakes Basin Action Agenda (GLAA) and through discussions with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Great Lakes Sub-basin Work Group meetings that identified regional and basin-wide collaborative actions and priorities.

The 2021 call for NYGLB Small Grants proposals was unique in that it specifically called for projects focused on engaging youth (under 21) in either formal or informal educational experiences. The 2021-2022 funded projects are: 

• Building Capacity for The Water and Habitat on the Indian River Lake (WHIRL): Clarkson University

• Buffalo Young Environmental Leaders Program: Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

• Developing and Implementing Environmental Education Programming in the Niagara River Gorge: Western NY Land Conservancy

• Environmental Ambassadors Workforce Development Program: Genesee Land Trust

• Great Lakes Data Jam & Environmental Justice Stewards Project: Friends of Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve

• LOOOP into Education: Upstate Freshwater Institute

• Plastic Pollution in Lake Ontario; Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEE) for In and Out of School Settings: Rochester Institute of Technology

• Youth for Water & Climate Action in NYS Great Lakes Basin: Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart & William Smith Colleges.

To learn more, see

Project Partner:  

• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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, SUNY 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 in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC 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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