Greenpoint’s Dedicated Environmental Fund Re-opens for Further Funding.
Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (“GCEF”) announced an additional $1.2 million in funding for Greenpoint last week. Having already dispersed some $16.8 million across 40 Greenpoint-based projects addressing environmental priorities enhancing open space; greening buildings, infrastructure, and neighborhoods; restoring the waterfront; and promoting environmental education and stewardship, GCEF is on track to help Greenpoint live up to its name again. Indeed, this website, and by extension these words, can be seen as a direct result of GCEF funding.
Other local beneficiaries of GCEF abound: from our new Greenpoint Library and our local community gardens to the curricula at our local elementary schools, GCEF is changing our neighborhood now and in the future. A full list of the 40 funded projects can be found on the GCEF website.
GCEF is the culmination of a fifty-year struggle to hold ExxonMobil to account for its historic oil spill under Greenpoint. Riverkeeper, a New York State water advocacy group, first filed suit in 2004. Joined by local residents, and later, the Borough of Brooklyn, these lawsuits collectively alleged that the company was in violation of both the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act. These lawsuits were later joined by New York State’s then Attorney General and now Governor Andrew Cuomo, and settled out of court. The lawsuit resulted in a consent decree which stipulated, among other things, that ExxonMobil pay $25 million in damages, the bulk of which — $19.5 million — went to create the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.
With the announcement of this most recent round of funding last week, GCEF seeks to continue to impact the community in green ways. And while the current priorities of the fund skew towards bolstering previous grantees, there is still room for new projects to come forward.
All of which points to more Green in Greenpoint!
If you have a project that you think would make a good fit with GCEF’s Guidelines, you are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due March 15, with awards made by July 1, 2018.