On Air: Next Round of Great Lakes Small Grants Must Involve Youth
NY Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program - News

Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation and Tourism Specialist, P: 315-312- 3042, E: dgw9@cornell.edu

Oswego, NY, April 7, 2021 - Dave White discusses a pot of $200,000 being offered (via a partnership program of New York Sea Grant and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) for clubs, organizations or agencies who want to create a project for the Great Lakes Watershed

As highlighted by White in this segment on Finger Lakes Radio, projects can be proposed by just about any idea, as long as it involves the watershed and research, its health, education and/or recreation. The project must also involve youth, as a way to inspire them to not only take pride in this project, but also future projects and plans.

Applications are due by April 30, 2021. For more information you can visit, www.nyseagrant.org/glsmallgrants.

You can listen to White's full conversation on Finger Lakes Radio ...

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Full Transcript: 

Speaker1: [00:00:03] Good morning. It is 8:16 on this Wednesday morning, and it is a pleasure to be joined by our good friend from New York Sea Grant, Mr. Dave White. Good morning and welcome back.

Speaker2: [00:00:16] Good morning, Steve. Be careful with that, Mr. stuff. You're going to swell my head, my friend.

Speaker1: [00:00:21] I get that as well. When you all of the high school athletes call me Mr. I say, now, Mr. is my 92 year old dad, you know, just call me Steve. And,  [00:00:30]you wanted to come back in. And as always, you've got good news to talk about. And this one deals with young people because New York Sea Grant and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has 200,000 dollars in grants, and that is available for projects that engage youth in implementing action agenda priorities on the Great Lakes.

Speaker2: [00:01:00] It [00:01:00] does, and I'm real excited about this. We've been running this program in partnership with DEC for several years now, and every time we put out an RFP, it has a focus like the coastal resiliency, recreation/tourism/development. We've done some wonderful projects across the region with just great partners to really help move some of these Great Lakes initiatives forward, because this is on the ground dollars to make things happen, not planning, not consideration, but really getting out there. Building kayak launches [00:01:30] with the ADA accessibility, dune planting and management, really cool stuff. This year we've decided instead of focusing on maybe a subject matter is we really want to encourage folks to give us proposals to engage youth in their projects. And what I'm referring to this is, is from conception to conclusions. So we don't want the youth just to be involved in maybe going out and doing some kind of planting or a beach cleanup, which are all great. But we want them involved in every step of the way, which makes this, I think, somewhat unique [00:02:00] that, to get youth under the age of 21 involved in thinking about what the project is going to be, how do we implement it. If we're going to do something, how do we plan it? How do we put it together, the whole thing. So they really understand the process, but they really then are really a part of the engagement of it and really being strong stewards.

Speaker1: [00:02:18] And that that is a great idea because, you know, it's kind of my experience ever since I've been here in the Finger Lakes that all of the vast majority of the [00:02:30] people that are involved in the stewardship of the lakes are of a experienced stage, much like ourselves. They're the ones called mister. Yeah, exactly. And and as a result, it's this is a way to kind of train the next generation of folks that are going to have to look after the Great Lakes and, you know, the Finger Lakes as well.

Speaker2: [00:02:56] That's exactly right. I mean, you have you hit the nail on the head, as they say. I [00:03:00] do that

Speaker1: [00:03:00] Every once in a while. I hit my thumb the rest of the time.

Speaker2: [00:03:05] Right. We both got those. And that's what really excites me about this, because just as you've said many times, we engage them in the activity, but not in thinking it through. How will it impact the environment, how it impact the watersheds, how will it impact our community and providing better access to better resource development? All of those things go into place. We're looking at formal and informal. It can be a school working with [00:03:30] an environmental science club. It can be a 4H youth group, an FFA group, a soil and water conservation who's working with the local environmental club. So I don't know what we're going to get, but I'm just excited and I'm really encouraging folks to apply. We're going to be able to fund up to eight projects. The maximum amount of each project is $25,000. And again, this is for on the ground action to engage youth in really understanding and thinking about becoming the leaders in [00:04:00] the Great Lakes as they finish high school, go into college, whatever it might be, but really getting them engaged in the process. So I'm excited by it. It's the first time we've done something of this nature and really encouraging a lot of folks to give it some thought and get some proposals in.

Speaker1: [00:04:17] Have you gotten any feedback from organizations like schools and not for profits about the idea? I have.

Speaker2: [00:04:25] It's been really exciting. We have actually a new colleague in [00:04:30] Buffalo who is our coastal ecosystem and education specialist. He just started about a month ago and he's getting calls and emails from teachers and other informal educators. I've been getting them with folks saying this is kind of cool with this project. I'm thinking about this and this is an 18 month span. So the proposals have to be in by April 30th and then the funding will start July 1st. So they have this summer and into 2022 and the project doesn't have to be completed until December 2022. [00:05:00] So it gives them time to do the whole conception to conclusion and engaging youth in that project. And it gives them two summer, which I really wanted to do. So maybe they have to do some planning this summer and some pre work. And then if they were going to implement a project next summer, they have that time. So it also gives them time. It's not a rush. It's something they can really get engaged with. And the DEC staff, New York Sea Grant staff will also be there to help folks, because I think everybody that's involved in this process is just excited to help get this going and help get it engaged [00:05:30] and let's see where it grows.

Speaker1: [00:05:31] And the great thing to Davis is the fact, of course, that so many young people have been impacted over the past year plus because of COVID, having to do Zoom classrooms instead of in-class work. This gets, you know, the old saying boots on the ground and gets them out working and planning and everything else. And really might [00:06:00] be a big help to overcome the psychological issues that have developed over the period of the pandemic.

Speaker2: [00:06:07] Oh, absolutely. And we had a lot of discussion about that when we were putting the RFP together. We mentioned COVID in this thing and I said, no, if we have restrictions, they'll work around that. Let's give people the opportunity to be creative if they have to do whatever the rules and regulations are. But they're going to change, obviously, over the course of the next 18 months. So let's just get people excited about it, give [00:06:30] them that opportunity. You know, I could see a group doing a project and then part of it is to present it to their community. And having that opportunity to stand up in front of the community leaders, to stand up in front of the other people in their school or their club. So, you know, I mean, I'm a former teacher. I mean, I taught for three years in high school and college settings and formal education. So I'm excited to think about all the things they could come up with. And I'm hoping we're really challenged with way too many proposals that we have to really think about, "You know, we're going to [00:07:00] have to just pick the best of the best. And these are just great ideas." And, you know, that's what I'm hoping to see. And I've even got the Coast Guard auxiliaries and power squadrons that are thinking about doing some boat activity things with youth in their communities. So, you know, there's there's really very few limitations on who can apply. It's really that opportunity to work with with our youth and bring them into the family.

Speaker1: [00:07:22] And, you know, as a teacher, I know as somebody who is a broadcaster of high school athletics that there are [00:07:30] a lot of very and I'll use the term, you know, intelligent, you know, high school students, even younger, that have a finger on the pulse of of things like the environment. And, you know, as you say, I think you're going to be indulged or swamped by a lot of really interesting and exciting proposals from all of these groups.

Speaker2: [00:07:58] Could could you I mean, again, you [00:08:00] and I are similar vintage my friend. I'm asking here could be really some cool social media opportunities. You know, these are young, they're technology driven. How do you use some of these new technology proactively to be thinking about some of these issues of concern in that broader scheme? So I totally agree with you and everybody. I mean, you and I have been in schools. We've worked with a lot of folks around. We've got kids coming out of school, I will say it, who are a lot smarter than I was coming out. They [00:08:30] are really great kids. And this is just another opportunity to give them that extra edge and get them engaged and involved. Because when I have been going to high school for things with my kids, I just sit there and I go, wow, our future is great because look at what these kids are doing that we never even thought of or had the opportunity to do.

Speaker1: [00:08:46] Well, that's because we were using abacus and the slide rules. I still can't figure out how to use a slide rule.

Speaker2: [00:08:55] I had a Texas instrument calculator. Well, I have the first ones, too, and I had no idea [00:09:00] what the other buttons were for.

Speaker1: [00:09:02] And for organizations or anybody that wants to get more information, what's the best way to go about it

Speaker2: [00:09:09] All, they can go right to our website, www.nyseagrant.org And it'll be linked right off the front page, it's called the New York Great Lakes Small Basin grant program and applications are due by April 30th. All the instructions are there. The RFP gives them all the information they need and if they have questions, they can contact me and we'll help working them through it. [00:09:30]

Speaker1: [00:09:30] Dave White, as always a pleasure and a lot of fun talking with you and keep in touch and let us know what's going on with with the grants and what you're getting from all the organizations.

Speaker2: [00:09:43] Absolutely. I think that'll be a big part of it is ensuring that they're getting that information out to folks in the regions they're working in. And, so, thanks again, my friend. Always great to be with you.

Speaker1: [00:09:51] You, too. Dave White from New York Grant has been our guest at 8:26 on the Finger Lakes Morning News.

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 in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter, "NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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