ST. LAWRENCE RIVER ECOSYSTEM PROJECTS TO RECEIVE NYPA FUNDING

MASSENA – May 8, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Three projects that will support environmental education in and around the St. Lawrence River ecosystem will receive funding from the St. Lawrence River Research and Education Fund (SLRREF).

The SLRREF was established as part of the New York Power Authority’s relicensing of the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in 2003. Funding is available to local or state education organizations, tribal education organizations, colleges or universities, and nonprofit groups for educational and research projects.

More than $28,000 has been allocated for the Friends of the Akwesasne Freedom School, the Thousand Islands Land Trust and the St. Lawrence Land Trust. The projects will receive matching funds totaling close to $45,000.

The Tsi niiohahò:ten project will provide high school students at the Akwesasne Freedom School with opportunities for on-the-job training and apprenticeships with community members who practice traditional skills and work for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Cultural Restoration Program. The program is conducted in the native Mohawk language. These students then conduct peer-to-peer training in Mohawk.

To increase awareness of the complex life history and habitat necessary for wetland animals, lake sturgeon, traditional medicines and foods, SLRREF funding of $15,000 will be used to support job placement for junior apprentices. They will assist biologists and masters in the Environment Division and Akwesasne Cultural Restoration Program in creating educational materials using both English and Mohawk.

The Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT), Clayton, was awarded $7,050 to further develop the Preserve Stewardship Volunteer Program and continue its mission of conserving habitats along the St. Lawrence River. The program cultivates dedicated volunteers to monitor TILT Signature preserves in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties. The program provides information about wetland health, trail conditions, monitoring of invasive and indicator species and overall health of the land.

The St. Lawrence Land Trust will utilize $6,500 in SLRREF funding to develop presentations to educate the public on conservation easements, tax liability and benefits, as well as the general rights and responsibilities of land owners and easement holders. The goal is to increase the knowledge of land stewardship tools by stakeholders in the St. Lawrence River Valley.

To be eligible for SLRREF support, projects must pertain to the St. Lawrence River, its adjoining terrestrial features or a tributary within the river valley and help education and awareness of the river ecosystem.

Members of the SLRREF board include representatives of the Power Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York Rivers United, the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Education Services, the St. Lawrence County Planning Office, Save the River, the Northern New York Audubon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local municipalities.

Since its establishment in 2007, the SLRREF fund has supported 28 projects with nearly $345,000 in NYPA funding and matching grants of more than $365,000.

For more information, go to www.nypa.gov/facilities/stlaw.htm.

About NYPA:
NYPA is the nation’s largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. 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. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Karen White | Karen.White (at) nypa (dot) gov | (315) 764-6863

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