Many New York State agencies provide an array of technical and financial assistance that can support your watershed planning process. The Department of State can provide assistance on all aspects of watershed planning to help you make the most of your community’s water resources. The Department can provide technical and financial assistance to help communities integrate watershed planning with efforts to expand public access, reinvigorate urban waterfronts, restore habitats, protect scenic resources, preserve historic resources, manage water uses, improve water quality, protect against flooding and erosion, and strengthen local economies.
The New York Department of State can provide training assistance to municipalities related to zoning procedures and other practical legal and technical advice. Local Government Services can also provide technical assistance to watersheds within the New York City drinking water supply watershed.
The Department of Environmental Conservation can provide assistance with conserving, improving, and protecting natural resources and environment, and controlling water, land, and air pollution. Of interest to communities are the funds for protecting clean water. A variety of funds are available for municipal wastewater treatment improvement, pollution prevention, and agricultural and non-agricultural nonpoint source abatement and control. Significant support is available to acquire open space that protects water resources, and to acquire public parklands and protect farmland. The Stormwater Phase II Program (www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8468.html) requires permits for stormwater discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas and for construction activities disturbing one or more acres.
The Environmental Facilities Corporation's (EFC) mission is to promote environmental quality by providing low-cost capital and expert technical assistance to municipalities, businesses, and State agencies for environmental projects in New York State. Its purpose is to help public and private entities comply with federal and State environmental requirements. EFC's primary activities are the State Revolving Funds (SRF), the Industrial Finance Program (IFP), and Technical Advisory Services (TAS).
If your watershed contains public drinking water supplies, the Department of Health provides information and technical assistance related to financing mechanisms, preventing drinking water contamination, and additional public health related water protection programs including publications outlining the regulatory framework. New York’s Final Source Water Assessment Program Plan (November, 1999) and a list of contacts by county can be viewed at here.
The Department of Transportation funds and implements environmental benefit projects that improve water quality, restore wetlands, promote eco-tourism, protect fish and wildlife, and enhance transportation corridors through its Environmental Initiative.
Agriculture is an important cultural and economic resource throughout New York State. There are several agencies that work to provide technical and financial assistance to New York farms. The Department of Agriculture and Markets administers several funding programs including the New York State Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program (ANSCAP), the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Implementation Project Program, and the Farmland Viability Program. The New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee develops and implements "an effective soil and water conservation and agricultural nonpoint source water quality program." Technical assistance is provided through the Agricultural Environmental Management Program, Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning, Streamside Conservation, and Community Conservation. The NYS Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (NYS CREP) aims to reduce pollution in streams by helping agricultural landowners to voluntarily plant trees, shrubs, and grasses on stream banks to trap sediment, pesticides, and fertilizers in runoff.