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The Foundation's grants primarily support independent, objective research that will inform scientific understanding, management, and policy decisions about the Hudson River Estuary.

Grant Programs

The Foundation administers a number of distinct grant programs, each with its own purpose and application process. The Hudson River Fund supports scientific research by leading scholars and students. The Foundation's Small Grants Program funds local public access, education, and stewardship activities. Funds made available through the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program support a range of restoration, public access and stewardship and citizen science activities. See each specific program for details.

Hudson River Fund

– Hudson River Fund Research Grants

The Foundation seeks to elucidate the dynamic interactions among the biological, chemical, physical and human processes that are important to the Hudson River ecosystem. In particular, the Foundation encourages research in areas that are both scientifically important and relevant to current or anticipated public policy and resource management issues affecting the River and its watershed. This year’s Call for Proposals will focus on identifying a limited number of projects that reflect the Foundation’s interest in innovative approaches to understanding current and emerging issues for the Hudson River Estuary and Watershed.

Photo of Dr. Rainer Lohmann by: Michael Salerno


– Mark B. Bain Graduate Fellowship

Mark B. Bain Graduate Fellowships provide one-year full-time research fellowships to advanced graduate students conducting research on the Hudson River System. Doctoral students are eligible for awards up to $20,000; Master's level students may receive up to $16,000.


– Tibor T. Polgar Undergraduate Fellowship

Tibor T. Polgar Fellowships provide a summertime grant ($5,500 for each fellowship) for students to conduct research on the Hudson River. The objectives of the program are to enhance opportunities for students to conduct scientific and public policy research with a specific focus on those who wish to study aspects of the Hudson River, its watershed, and the people who live there.

Beginning in 2022, the Polgar Fellowship will be open to undergraduate students only.


NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program

– Public Access and Stewardship

The New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program provides funds to promote stewardship of the Estuary and access to and from our waterfront and waterways through community engagement and education, particularly in underserved areas.

The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program is currently not accepting proposals.


– Citizen Science

The New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program supports the collection and interpretation of environmental data by volunteers and students. We particularly seek projects that improve the data quality of citizen monitoring efforts by training organizations and citizen scientists, so that the information is suitable for use by public agencies for a variety of purposes.

The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program is currently not accepting proposals.


– Habitat Restoration

The New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program supports targeted research and the development of concept habitat restoration plans that facilitate the achievement of the Target Ecosystem Characteristics (TECs) objectives set in the Hudson Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Plan (HRE CRP) prepared by United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and adopted by HEP.

The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program is currently not accepting proposals.


Small Grants Programs

– Newtown Creek Fund

The NYCEF Newtown Creek Fund requests proposals for environmental education, public access and stewardship projects that will benefit communities along Newtown Creek, one of New York City's six designated Maritime and Industrial Zones.

The Newtown Creek Fund is currently not accepting proposals.


– North River Fund

The North River Environmental Benefit Program (NREBP) was created as part of an agreement between New York State and New York City to provide environmental benefits to the community in and around the North River Waste Water Treatment Plant, bounded by Manhattan Community Board 9.

The North River Fund is currently not accepting proposals.


– New York City Environmental Fund

The New York City Environmental Fund was established in 1994 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Hudson River Foundation to foster active community stewardship of waterways, shorelines, parklands and open spaces in and around New York City.

The New York City Environmental Fund is currently not accepting proposals.


– Hudson River Improvement Fund

The Hudson River Improvement Fund was created to support projects that promote the enhancement of public use and enjoyment of the natural, scenic and cultural resources of the Hudson River and its shores - with an emphasis on physical projects that require capital construction, development or improvement.

The Hudson River Improvement Fund is currently not accepting proposals.