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Public Access and Stewardship Grants


Photo credit: Bob Buchanan

Connecting communities and their waterways is critical to fostering an engaged and informed constituency involved in caring for decision-making affecting the ecological health of the Harbor and its living resources. HEP provides funding for organizations to conduct projects promoting stewardship and public access to the  NY-NJ Harbor Estuary, particularly in underserved areas. Such projects include but are not limited to:

  • Establishing new public access to the estuary (e.g. through planning, implementation, and/or community engagement).
  • Enhancing existing public access to/from the estuary (e.g. improving site stewardship; enabling boating access, swimming or fishing access; hands-on programming and events focused on the harbor estuary; and place-based waterway protection and awareness campaigns).
  • Increasing the connection between underserved populations and publicly accessible waterfront spaces, especially those identified in the 2016 report, Connecting with our Waterways: Public Access and its Stewardship in the New York – New Jersey Harbor Estuary.

The New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program is currently not accepting proposals.

Requests for Proposals

Requests for Proposals are issued as funds are made available. Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status, public and private primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, counties, and municipalities are eligible. Organizations without 501(c)(3) status may apply, but they must partner with another organization with 501(c)(3) status that can serve as a fiscal agent.

City of Water Day

HEP regularly partners with the Waterfront Alliance to help communities enhance their “In Your Neighborhood” events created as part of the Alliance’s annual City of Water Day celebrations in July. City of Water Day is a free, family-oriented celebration that attracts tens of thousands of people each year,  The In your Neighborhood brings the event to dozens of different waterways throughout the estuary. To Learn More about City of Water Day and the In Your Neighborhood program, visit the Waterfront Alliance.