New York State Environmental Protection Fund – Local Waterfront Revitalization Program

On an annual basis, the Department of State solicits grant applications from local governments for 50/50 matching grants from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund's (EPF) Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). The LWRP provides technical assistance, and matching grants on a reimbursement basis (under Title 11 of the EPF) to villages, towns, cities, and counties located along New York’s coasts or designated inland waterways, to prepare or implement strategies for community and waterfront revitalization. Applicants with an existing LWRP may apply for grant funding to update their LWRP to mitigate future physical climate risks. The funding also supports the implementation of a community resilience strategy, and many other climate resilient opportunities for local governments.

Purpose: The Department of State's LWRP provides grants on a competitive basis to eligible villages, towns, cities, and counties located along New York’s coasts or designated inland waterways to revitalize communities and waterfronts through planning, design, and construction projects.

Eligible Uses: The grant categories for 2019-2020 include:

  • Preparing or Updating a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program 
  • Preparing an LWRP Component, including a Watershed Management Plan
  • Updating an LWRP to Mitigate Future Physical Climate Risks
  • Implementing a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program or a completed LWRP Component


For applicants in the 2016-2017 cycle, the LWRP prioritized projects that sought to apply funds “for the purpose of eliminating barriers to skilled employment by poor people in [their] region, as identified by the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).” REDCs may develop region-wide strategies, or may focus their efforts by designating one or more chronically distressed community as an “Opportunity Area.”

Moreover, in 2016-2017, the LWRP announced that approximately $10 million would be spent for projects which are in, or primarily serve, areas where demographic and other relevant data demonstrate that the areas are:

  • Densely-populated and have sustained physical deterioration, decay, neglect, or disinvestment;
  • or where a substantial proportion of the residential population is low income;
  • or where a substantial proportion of the residential population is otherwise disadvantaged and is underserved with respect to the existing recreational opportunities.

Potential Adaptation Uses
: Applicants with an existing LWRP may apply for grant funding to update their LWRP to mitigate future physical climate risks.  An eligible community may consider planning activities such as:

  • incorporation of an NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan or NY Rising Countywide Resiliency Plan, Long Term Community Recovery Plan or other resiliency plan
  • assessment of risks associated with coastal/riverine flooding and erosion including impacts to wetlands, habitats, and other natural resources
  • assessment of risks to critical infrastructure and systems such as water supply, sewage treatment plants, combined sewer overflows, electric utilities, transmission lines, dams, shoreline stabilization infrastructure and other in-water structures, and transportation systems
  • assessment of potential impacts to economic sectors including recreation, tourism and agriculture
  • assessment of relevant landscape attributes such as impervious surface area, vegetated stream buffers, water storage capacity, and forested land cover to improve resilience
  • identification of strategies related to climate change/drought/sea level rise adaptation that can be implemented through both public and private actions
  • identification of severe weather mitigation measures to reduce economic risk associated with or attributable to inaction
  • identification of strategies to make health and social services more resilient on a daily basis and responsive during an emergency event
  • identification of strategies/projects that will reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure to severe weather events
  • identification of opportunities for modifying existing or developing new laws, regulations, policies and practices to reduce a community's vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change impacts and improve emergency preparedness, pre-weather event management or response protocols
  • creation of development tools that optimize land use patterns to meet the needs of vulnerable populations and future growth demands
  • identification of public education efforts concerning potential long term effects from severe weather event damage such as mold, desiccation, contaminated soils and aquifer impacts

Eligible Grantees: Eligible applicants are villages, towns, or cities, and counties (with the consent and on behalf of one or more villages, towns, or cities) which are located along New York’s coasts or designated inland waterways. Specifically, eligible coastal communities include those on Long Island Sound, the Atlantic Ocean, New York Harbor and the waters around New York City, the Hudson River, the Great Lakes, Niagara River or the St. Lawrence River; or those located on an inland waterbody, such as a major lake, river or the State Canal, that has been designated by the State Legislature under Article 42 of the Executive Law.

Process and Requirements: Applicants are required to demonstrate that projects are ready to move forward quickly. A contract effective date to expiration date will not exceed five years. In the Award Process, a total score of 100 points is possible for any application, of which up to 80 percent will be derived from program criteria and up to 20 percent from Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) endorsement. Regional distribution of grant proposals, information from interagency discussion, applicant's performance under previously awarded EPF LWRP grants, and consistency with the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act will be factors used in determining successful grant proposals.  

In 2016-2017, approximately $19.5 million was procured. Approximately $15 million was allocated from the LWRP in each of three subsequent funding rounds through 2020.

The Department may make an award under the RFA in whole or in part, and may offer partial funding if a particular phase of a project is not ready to move forward. In the event that another NYS agency fully funds a high scoring project through the CFA process, the awardee will receive funding from only one state agency.


Related Organizations:

  • New York Department of State - Office of Planning and Development

Related Resources:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Funding program

States Affected:


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