Waterfront Revitalization

Local Initiatives

Local initiatives cumulatively shape New York's waterfronts. It is the local decisions to develop, protect, restore, redevelop, or preserve the waterfront that will determine its characteristics far into the future. Our office assists individual communities to develop a vision and strategy to guide waterfront activities responsive to specific environmental, economic, and cultural conditions and issues characteristic of each community - developing public access, providing recreational opportunities, protecting historic and natural resources, improving water quality and revitalizing communities by enhancing their waterfronts. Over 201 waterfront communities are working in partnership with our office.

Our office encourages waterfront communities to guide the beneficial use, revitalization, and protection of their waterfront resources by planning and implementing Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs (LWRP) - a locally prepared, comprehensive land and water use plan for a community's natural, public, working and developed waterfronts. A LWRP provides a comprehensive management structure enabling a community to resolve critical coastal issues. 

Our office administers grants from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (EPF LWRP), a critical source of funding to revitalize communities and waterfronts. The awards allow municipalities, counties and regional planning agencies to improve waterfronts by financing a variety of planning, design, and construction projects that focus on economic, community, environmental and recreational improvements, reinforcing the Department of State and Secretary of State’s commitment to improving both local economies and the environment.  Since 2007, our office administers grants for 298 projects awarded grants totaling almost $73 million.

In an effort to coordinate interpretive signage along New York’s waterfronts, our office created a comprehensive interpretive signage system for use in all coastal and waterfront communities. The New York State Coastal Resources Interpretive Program (NYSCRIP) guidebook can be used to identify design element linking common themes that define New York's waterfronts.