Ninety-seven proposals for ecological projects in Greenpoint were submitted to the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund. The winning projects will be financed by ExxonMobil in accordance with a 2011 settlement with New York State related to the company’s massive oil spill in Greenpoint.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the North Brooklyn Development Corporation who administer the $19.5 million Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund received a total of 97 proposals for various ecological projects in Greenpoint. Some of them were submitted by Greenpoint businesses and organizations run by Polish immigrants.
The purpose of the projects is to improve Greenpoint’s environment, damaged for years by oil refineries.
The Fund received 49 proposals for small grants in the amount of $5,000-25,000 as well as 48 pre-proposals for bigger grants in amounts ranging from $25,000 to $2 million. The larger projects promise wide-ranging benefits for Greenpoint’s natural environment and protection of the natural heritage of the neighborhood.
The proposals are currently being reviewed and evaluated by the Fund’s administrators. By the end of February the Fund will distribute grants to the winning submissions among the smaller grant proposals. In March, proposals for the bigger environmental improvement projects will go into the second phase of the contest. Winners will be announced in the fall.
“I am extremely happy that the contest gained so much interest. Close to 100 proposals is a great success. Previous initiatives attracted a handful of proposals. This time however, we organized a number of briefings with the community and they helped,” said Richard Mazur, executive director of the North Brooklyn Development Corporation.
The $19.5 million Fund for ecological projects in Greenpoint comes from a settlement between ExxonMobil and New York State for the environmental contamination by a massive oil spill. The ecological disaster, uncovered in 1978, was caused by a spillage of at least 17 million gallons of oil, which leaked into the soil and water, contaminating some 55 acres of land. A considerable amount of the spillage still remains in the soil.