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Welcome to the latest edition of the EFC eNews! Inside, you'll find recent news from EPA and other partners and organizations on environmental policy and issues, new publications, funding opportunities, and events.
April 22-24, 2014 | Minnowbrook Conference Center
Blue Mountain Lake, NY

Continuing in the EFC tradition, our annual local leaders conference at Minnowbrook Conference Center in the Adirondacks will focus on the needs of municipal leaders, and provide technical assistance, funding updates and practical skill-building sessions. Speakers will address pressing environmental topics, equipping attendees with the tools needed to address environmental challenges in our communities.

Training Topics Include:

Funding Projects 

- Finance Tools and Grant Writing 

- The REDC's and You
- State and Federal Funding Roundtable

Process Facilitation 

- Leadership Training 

- Community Engagement
- Rural, Character-Based Zoning and Planning

Environmental Projects 

- Agriculture and Water Resources 

- Disaster Mitigation


Early registration is available December 2nd through January 31st. After January 31st, regular rates will apply.    


Please contact Brad DeFrees at (315) 558-8046 or for more information.

Learn More
Register Now  
Workshops, Trainings & Webinars
WEBINAR: Asset Management Core Component 3 - Critical Assets
Monday, December 2, 2013 | 2:30PM - 3:30PM EST

This webinar will help water system utilities answer the question, "How can we spend our limited dollars to have the greatest impact?" This webinar will provide an overview of Asset Management and discuss the third core component of Asset Management, Critical Assets.


Audience: This webinar is appropriate for water system managers, operators of small systems, consultants, engineers, technical assistance providers, and government agencies and trade associations interested in tools available for their clients.  

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) is a university-based organization creating innovative solutions to the difficult how-to-pay issues of environmental protection and improvement.

Storm Mitigation Loan Program Webinar

December 2, 2014 | 2PM  

The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. (EFC) is presenting a webinar at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3 detailing the listing process and eligibility requirements for communities seeking financing for mitigation and resiliency projects under the New York State Storm Mitigation Loan Program (SMLP).

SMLP will provide federal funding to eligible communities to undertake flood-mitigation projects at wastewater and drinking water plants. More than $407 million is available (as a 75% interest-free loan / 25% grant) for projects at municipally-owned treatment works or community water systems to reduce flood-damage risk and vulnerability or to enhance resilience to rapid hydrologic change or a natural disaster. These funds are available to public and non-profit entities in the 14 counties declared disaster areas from Superstorm Sandy (Bronx, Greene, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester).

This hour-long webinar will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a question and answer session for the audience. Please pre-register here for the webinar. EFC will email you instructions on how to view and/or listen to the webinar.

Two-Day "Essential Grant Skills" Training

March 18 & 19, 2014 | Salamanca BOCES Center Salamanca, NY
Essential Grant Skills, presented by the Craftsmanship Center, gives you an overview of the entire grants process, with in-depth emphasis on the key areas where even experienced grant professionals often stumble. Knowing how to identify and overcome these hurdles is crucial to your success.

The agenda for the 2-day Essential Grant Skills workshop includes:
- An orientation to the art of grants work 
- An in-depth examination of the four elements most likely to make or break a grant application

* The Southern Tier West Development Foundation is able to subsidize workshop tuition for local municipalities and fire districts with $100 scholarships per entity. Total cost of the workshop after scholarship is $345.

Register online at
Funding Opportunities

With support from USDA Rural Development, the Environmental Finance Center will fund up to three proposals for as much as $5,000 each to provide NYS rural municipalities with the proper tools and resources to fully conduct an Asset Management inventory for their water or wastewater system.

All submissions must be received by 5:00pm on January 3rd, 2014, to be considered.

For more information, contact Khris Dodson at

The Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships for wetland, forest, riparian and coastal habitat restoration, stormwater management, outreach and stewardship with a particular focus on water quality, watersheds and the habitats they support.

Also in this RFP, EPA makes funding available through its Five Star Program for on-the-ground restoration projects that include on-the-ground wetland, riparian, in stream and/or coastal habitat restoration.
Deadline: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 
Total Funding Available:

Tools & Publications
Watershed Optimization Support Tool (WMOST)  
The Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, public-domain software application designed to facilitate integrated water resources management. The tool allows water resources managers and planners to screen a wide range of practices for cost-effectiveness in achieving watershed or water utilities management goals such as meeting projected water demand and minimum and maximum in-stream flow targets. WMOST optimizes within a watershed system context accounting for the direct and indirect cost and performance of each practice. 

WMOST calculates the optimal solution based on user inputs of watershed characteristics, human water system characteristics, management practices, and management goals.
The Composting Council's Research & Education Foundation Offers Residential Food Scrap Collection Toolkit

This toolkit provides an overview of organics recovery, with basic data and examples of outreach materials to aid in the development of a residential food scrap collection program that will be administered by a city and/or municipal waste management district already collecting yard debris.


Resources outlined on this page are examples to help prepare and develop a successful residential composting program- areas covered include source separating food scraps, collection bins, where to find compostable bags, examples of signage, questions to ask your local composting facility manager, educational flyers, brochures and instructional videos.


While elements of this package can be used in other sectors, such as commercial settings, schools, public venues and special events, the scope for this package is designed for residential food scraps.


In This Issue 

Early Bird Registration Now Open for EFC's Local Leadership Conference at Minnowbrook
WEBINAR: Asset Management Core Component 3 - Critical Assets
Storm Mitigation Loan Program Webinar
Two-Day "Essential Grant Skills" Training
Environmental Finance Center Mini-Grants RFP for Asset Management
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Request for Proposals for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program
Watershed Optimization Support Tool (WMOST)
The Composting Council's Research & Education Foundation Offers Residential Food Scrap Collection Toolkit


Webinar: Asset Management Core Component 3 - Critical Assets
December 2, 2013 | 2:30pm 
Storm Mitigation Loan Program Webinar
December 3, 2013 | 2pm

Composting Strategies for Colleges and Universities
Webinar | US EPA   
December 5, 2013 
The Craftsmanship Center
Essential Grant Skills Training
March 18 & 19, 2014
Salamanca, NY

College of Environmental Science and Forestry 
SAVE THE DATE: NYS Green Building Conference 
March 27-28, 2014
Syracuse, NY

Environmental Finance Center
Smart Management for Small Communities Conference: Practical Resources for Governance
April 22-24, 2014
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 


Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program National Fish and Wildlife Foundation | Deadline: February 5, 2014

Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act Grants | US Fish and Wildlife Service
Deadline: December 16, 2013

Request for Proposals from Indian Tribes and Intertribal Consortia for Nonpoint Source Management Grants | US EPA
Deadline: December 16, 2013

Mini Grants for Asset Management
Syracuse EFC
Deadline: January 3, 2013  

About EFC 

The  Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University facilitates the development of sustainable and resilient communities across US EPA Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and eight tribal nations).   


Located at the SyracuseCoE Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, EFC enhances the administrative and financial capacities of state and local government officials, nonprofit organizations, and private sectors to make change toward improved environmental infrastructure and quality of life.

EFC Staff

Ana V. Arache
Program Coordinator

Tara Baron  
Project Assistant

Laura Cardoso  
Project Assistant

Aimee Clinkhammer
Project Specialist 

Brad DeFrees

ject Assistant    

Khristopher Dodson
Associate Director

Caitlin Eger 
Project Assistant 

Paul Esposito 
Project Assistant  

Kathy Forrest
Budget Administrator

Gabi Levinson   
Project Assistant

Mark Lichtenstein
Executive Director and
Principal Investigator

Lisa Ruggero 
Project Assistant
Mandy Westerdahl
Communications Manager

Melissa Young
Assistant Director

Please visit our website,, or
contact us at
Environmental Finance Center programs and projects are supported in part by funding from USDA-RD and EPA.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, and familial status.  


To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6582 (TDD).  


To reach us via the NYS Relay Service, please dial 7-1-1. If you are calling from within Syracuse University, please dial 800-662-1220. Click here to download instructions on how to use this service.

You may also contact us via e-mail at