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Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2019)

New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants encourage stakeholder-driven ecosystem-based management application


David White, NYSG Coastal Recreation & Tourism Specialist, P: 315-312-3042, E:

Oswego, NY, March 4, 2019 - New York Sea Grant (NYSG) partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to create the New York Great Lakes Basin (NYGLB) Small Grants Program to support stakeholder-driven efforts to restore and revitalize the state’s Great Lakes region and demonstrate successful application of ecosystem-based management (EBM).

These EBM projects have multiple ecosystem benefits, striving to balance the needs of people, nature, and the economy through science informed decision making. 

EBM-based projects encompass the entire ecosystem versus a single issue/single species focus and incorporate stakeholder participation. Each year, funding priorities are identified from New York’s Great Lakes Basin Action Agenda (GLAA) for applying EBM principles to benefit NY’s Great Lakes basin. NY Great Lakes sub-basin work group meetings identify regional and basin-wide collaborative actions as additional priorities.

NYGLB Small Grants Program funding priorities have focused on GLAA goals to:

• control sediment, nutrient and pathogen loading so drinking water quality is protected, desired aquatic biotic communities flourish, humans and wildlife are protected from coastline health hazards, and natural processes are sustained;

• conserve and restore native fish and wildlife biodiversity and habitats to achieve and sustain resilient ecosystems and vibrant communities;

• enhance community resiliency and ecosystem integrity through restoration, protection, and improve resource management; and

• secure additional access to local waterways for swimming, boating, shore fishing, and other recreational activities.

Not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, county and local government or public agencies, regional planning and environmental commissions, and educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, are eligible to apply. The NYGLB Small Grants Program supports local projects that may lead to larger-scale activities.

Since the inception of this program in 2015, more than $850,000 has been shared by 37 local projects focused on the needs and issues of NY’s Great Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the Niagara and St. Lawrence River regions, as well as several inland lakes within the basin.

“This small grants program supports local stakeholder-driven projects that apply holistic approaches to meet pressing problems and opportunities for protecting our natural resources, environmental quality, and economic development.” — NYSG Interim Director/Associate Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth

A NYGLB Small Grant award supported this post-flood recovery visioning workshop in Sodus, N.Y. Credit: NYSG/Mary Austerman.


• 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 33 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, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via 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,

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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