Brooklyn environmental groups benefit from state grants

Groups tackle air and water pollution, health data

August 16, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Newtown Creek. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
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A host of Brooklyn-based community organizations are among the 32 statewide that have been awarded Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Tuesday.

“Community Impact Grants support nonprofit, community-based organizations implementing a wide range of projects addressing multiple environmental concerns that adversely impact the quality of life in minority and low-income communities across the state,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. 

Brooklyn recipients of the grants include:

Fort Greene Park Conservancy Inc., $100,000

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Green Infrastructure Team at Fort Greene Park: Teens will study environmental justice and execute an infrastructure project in Fort Greene Park.

Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, $100,000

Refresh: Community Health Responses to Indoor Air Quality and Local Air Pollution: The grant will help increase the focus on community health by building a network of awareness around indoor and outdoor air quality. The organization, which mainly serves Williamsburg and Greenpoint, was originally known as Neighbors Against Garbage, or NAG.

The Gowanus Canal. Photo: Rob Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle

Gowanus Canal Conservancy Inc., $99,998

Gowanus Canal Conservancy Urban Ecology Program: The grant will help the Conservancy conduct community science and public engagement to involve students in the role of constructed ribbed mussel habitat in mitigating coastal pollution;

Human Impacts Institute $99,961.

Urban Environmental Health Lab: Funding will support a new round of health and art fellows will work to explore the concept of a just transition to make environmental health data and sustainable advancements more accessible to the public. The organization is headquartered on South Third Street, Brooklyn.

Newtown Creek Alliance, Inc., $99,607.

Newtown Creek Cool Youth Fellowship: The Cool Youth Fellowship seeks to identify tangible solutions to the urban heat island effect through an environmental justice lens.

Funding for this grant program was provided by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a critical resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreation access, water quality improvement, and environmental justice projects. 

Among the many environmental victories in the enacted 2022-23 State Budget, Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders increased the EPF to $400 million, the highest-ever level of funding in the program’s history.

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