The Bronx River, which flows for roughly 23 miles through southern Westchester and metropolitan New York, has a long history of pollution. While considerable progress has been made in recent years toward reclaiming the river, these efforts are still hampered by a number of lingering problems. A principal cause of the Bronx River’s water quality problems is stormwater runoff -- rainwater and snowmelt that flows over paved surfaces and into waters, picking up raw sewage, litter, gas and oil, pesticides, fertilizers and other harmful pollutants along its path.
NFWF's Bronx River Watershed Initiative was created in 2008 to address the root causes of pollution from stormwater outfalls to improve water quality and river ecology along the Bronx River. Funding comes from a $7 million settlement resulting from violations associated with discharges of raw sewage into the Bronx River from storm sewers. NFWF manages this program for the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Bronx River Watershed Initiative supports on-the-ground structural projects to improve water quality by removing pollutants, increasing rates of infiltration, improving or adding to retention or detention, abating combined sewer overflows, and/or removing or reducing floatable debris from storm water and/or waste-streams.
Funding priorities for this program include:
- Reducing concentrations and total loadings of pollutants to the Bronx River
- Reducing the volume and peak flows of stormwater into the Bronx River
- Mitigating adverse impacts to recreation, habitat, and the overall health of living resources.
The program has awarded $4.8 million to 25 projects in the Bronx River Watershed, including both Westchester County and the Borough of the Bronx. With grantee match of $4.4 million, more than $9.2 million for locally-based stormwater management and ecological restoration has been galvanized by the grant program.