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Fund Introduced to Keep St. Lawrence River Knowledge Flowing

Connie Cullen

September 20, 2007


MASSENA—A new fund for environmental research and environmental educational projects related to the St. Lawrence River was launched this week with the distribution of a descriptive brochure.  Known as the St. Lawrence River Research & Education Fund (SLRREF), it will help fund projects related to environmental research and education projects about the ecology of the St. Lawrence River and its surroundings. 

“The establishment of the St. Lawrence River Research & Education Fund shows the continuing commitment of the Power Authority and other stakeholders to work with the North Country community to achieve greater understanding of this vital river valley,” said Roger B. Kelley, president and chief executive officer, New York Power Authority (NYPA).  “One aspect of this fund encourages proposals to develop programs to educate youngsters, making it one of the most exciting projects resulting from the relicensing of the Power Authority’s St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project. 

The SLRREF will be administered by the St. Lawrence River Research & Education Fund Board which consists of a broad variety of local, state, tribal and federal entities with an interest in protecting and learning more about the St. Lawrence River.  This board will review proposals and disburse funds annually for projects that meet SLRREF criteria. Twice-yearly deadlines have been scheduled for proposal submissions: Jan. 1 and July 1.  

To be considered eligible for funding, proposals should have at least one of the following objectives:

• increase knowledge or awareness of the natural environment;

• advance knowledge of one or more aspects of the St. Lawrence River ecosystem;

• promote environmental education. 

The fund is intended to support the efforts of local or state education organizations, tribal education organizations, colleges or universities, and not-for-profit groups. The total amount of funding to be made available each year is expected to range between $30,000 and $50,000.   With the aim of supporting multiple projects, it is estimated that individual awards will be approximately $15,000 or $20,000 apiece. Applicants are encouraged to seek matching funds from other sources for their project proposals. 

To be eligible for funding, a proposal shall pertain to waters or the immediately adjoining terrestrial features of the River or a tributary within the St. Lawrence River Valley.  The focus area for SLRREF activities is the stretch of river between Ogdensburg, New York and Summerstown, Ontario, in the general vicinity of NYPA’s St. Lawrence-FDR project. 

The St. Lawrence River is an important North Country resource, and funding proposals can explore both natural and man-made influences on the St. Lawrence Valley watershed. International waters are included in the focus area boundary; in fact, Canadian research organizations can apply for SLRREF funding, since ecological issues are a concern on both sides of the border. 

In addition to NYPA, the SLRREF board is comprised of representatives of the following entities: the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the St. Lawrence County Planning Office, the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Education Services, New York Rivers United, the St. Lawrence Adirondack Audubon Society and, on a rotating basis, a representative from the towns of Massena, Louisville and Waddington. 

The brochure, application and additional details are available online at

  About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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