CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Cortlandt has received a hefty grant that will help it protect one of its greatest natural assets – the Hudson River.
According to Supervisor Linda Puglisi, the town will get $50,000 in state money to fund a feasibility study, conceptual design and facility planning for the proposed Hudson River Environmental Educational Center in the hamlet of Verplanck.
The center, which would be in the Cortlandt Waterfront Park, will provide a venue for visitors and school groups to learn about the Hudson.
Of particular interest will be the river’s role in the hamlet development and its past industries, including fishing, brick-making and ice-harvesting.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in announcing the grant program recently, said that a total of $1.3 million has been awarded to 12 projects to Hudson River communities to improve recreational access and river education.
The money will, he said, support the repair and maintenance of docks and heritage wooden boats, offer new exhibits and educational opportunities, and enhance accessibility for people with disabilities.
Cuomo, a Westchester resident, said “The Hudson River is a vital part of New York’s identity and one of our defining natural assets.”
The grant program is administered through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
Basil Seggos, commissioner of state Department of Environmental Conservation, said the projects will help communities such as Cortlandt advance their stewardship of the Hudson through "sustainable shoreline techniques, open space planning, and (creating) natural resources inventories."
Seggos also pointed to the potential economic benefits from nature-based tourism.
These are the other grant recipients, and their projects:
- Hudson River Park Trust (New York City) : $200,000 to design and engineer a concrete floating dock at Hudson River Park. The dock will be able to accommodate large vessels, such as the Clearwater, a sloop owned by a nonprofit that protects the Hudson.
- Seaport Museum (New York City): $195,000 to repair two historic vessels, the Pioneer and the Lettie G. Howard, which are used as floating classrooms.
- Clarkson University : $193.639 to develop a plan for the Hudson Park Pier 26 Estuarium in New York City.
- Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies (Dutchess and Ulster counties): $158,549 for training high school students and teachers to use environmental and social science data.
- Hudson River Maritime Museum (Ulster County): $120,263 to build a 21-foot, eight-person heritage wooden boat to provide “on-water” education and to improve access to the museum’s docks.
- Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources: $106,250 to replace wooden floating docks in Haverstraw Bay Park and outfit a kayak launch.
- Manhattan College (Westchester and the Bronx): $74,628 to help develop web applications and websites to help students in Peekskill, Cortlandt and the Bronx share environmental data.
- Arm of the Sea Productions (Ulster County): $73,934 to help plan, design and pursue permits for an estuary education center.
- N ew York City Department of Parks & Recreation (the Bronx ): $58,350 to plan a shoreline access project.
- Marist College (Dutchess County) : $54,674 to upgrade a 28-foot educational vessel.
- Rensselaer Land Trust (Rensselaer County) : $26,500 to create a river access plan.