Greenpoint Gazette
Greenpoint residents will now help determine the projects that will be awarded part of the $19.5 million Newtown creek oil spill settlement.

Greepointers to Get a Last Crack at GCEF Funds

BY Tanay Warerkar

Greenpointers will take another crack at environment enriching projects with the last round of Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) grants to be distributed this year.

Just over $8 million now remains of the $19.5 million fund that was created in 2011 by the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) after the latter settled with ExxonMobil over the Greenpoint Oil Spill.

A community meeting to discuss the final round of granting will take place May 4 at the Warsaw on Driggs Avenue where residents will get an update on the fund and what success it has enjoyed to date; deadlines for the current grant application process; how community members can be assisted in creating comprehensive proposals to increase chances of funding; and also a means for local organizations to network and mingle to come up solutions and suggestions to address the neighborhood’s needs collectively.

“To date, GCEF has been successful in bringing almost $35 million to addressing the environmental improvement priorities of Greenpoint residents,” said Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York. “Key to this tremendous success has been the partnership we’ve established the community in implementing the program.”

Since the launch of the fund, $11.4 million has been have been awarded to 24 different projects through the GCEF funding process. These have been bolstered by $24 in matching funds bringing the total amount of funding going to Greenpoint-based environmental projects to over $35 million.

Some of the projects funded through this process include the Curb Your Litter project created by the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce to counter the chronic shortage of trash collection in the neighborhood; a state-of-the-art environmental education center at the Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn Public Library; a City Parks Foundation project to dramatically increase the tree coverage in the neighborhood, and an Eco-Schools USA project to make the residents of the future more environmentally conscious and active participants in saving the environment.

2015 Greenpoint Community Meeting, Monday, May 4, 2015, 6:30-8:30 p.m., the Polish National Home “Warsaw,” 261 Driggs Avenue, for more information visit http://www.gcefund.org/#latest-news.

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