Blog

New York State Grants Seeding Programs at Peconic Land Trust

January 10, 2018

By Josh Halsey

Regional Aquifer Protection Land Acquisition Program 

Peconic Land Trust is so pleased to receive the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funding by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to protect properties in the Special Groundwater Protection Areas within the Peconic Estuary and Forge River Watersheds and the South Shore Estuary Reserve. This multi-year Regional Aquifer Protection Land Acquisition Program (RAPLAP) intends to protect land for surface water quality, groundwater recharge areas, and drinking water protection.

We will be partnering with Peconic Estuary Program (PEP) in an effort to pool resources and expertise in acquiring land or conservation easements on several parcels that meet source water protection criteria.  The $2.3 million awarded will provide 75% of acquisition costs when 25% is matched with other public and/or private funds. Phase I of this program will be implemented collaboratively with the Town of Brookhaven.

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Land preservation and source water protection within aquifer recharge areas benefits drinking water and surface water quality, fostering healthy ecosystems and enhancing natural resources.  This further ensures healthy and sustainable communities, benefiting residents and businesses, and sustaining employment opportunities in the fishing and tourism industries on the east end of Long Island.  Peconic Land Trust is excited at the opportunity to collaborate with all the east end towns and partners on achieving regional and local preservation priorities to protect land and in turn our water—natural resources so critical to a healthy Long Island.

New York State Grown & Certified Program 

Peconic Land Trust also received a $500,000 block grant for Long Island farmers who need to make capital investments in order to meet the food safety requirements of the NYS Grown and Certified program.  This funding comes from New York State Ag & Markets in their efforts to support the agricultural industry’s compliance with more stringent standards for food safety, a voluntary program to help minimize environmental impact.  Farmers have to comply with so many regulations that any financial assistance is welcome in their efforts to upgrade their farm equipment and/or structures. Peconic Land Trust is pleased to have been awarded this New York State Grown & Certified Agricultural Producer’s Grant so that we can work directly with farmers to assist them in obtaining approval for up to $50,000 for these investments—covering 90% of total project costs since such grant opportunities can be time consuming and complicated.

To learn more about NYS Grown and Certified Program click here.

We are so thankful to have been awarded these important grants to invest in the future of our water quality and our important working farms, both on the land and under the sea. Currently, the details for these programs are being finalized and we look forward to sharing additional information in the coming months.