Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Beachfront Drone Grant Program

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The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) is committed to the safety of beach goers across the state. To address an increase in marine wildlife encounters with humans at ocean coastal beaches, the Office is granting funding to designated coastal municipalities to purchase Remote Controlled Drones (Drones) along with software and training to properly monitor clearly designated swimming areas at coastal beaches for the presence of sharks and other dangerous marine life.

Eligible Expenditures and Program Requirements:

Equipmentup to $6,000 per drone

  • Must meet these minimum aircraft specifications:
    • Takeoff weight between 2 and 5 pounds
    • Capable of 25 mph wind resistance
    • GPS capability and control
    • Max flight time between 25 and 45 minutes
    • Automatic omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system
    • Minimum camera resolution of 4K
    • Photo and Video storage capability
  • Note: Class 1 drones are recommended because they are capable of effective flight times and ranges and carry cameras and sensors that can deliver a clear picture to monitoring staff on the beachfront. Drones in this class also include GPS tracking and computer assisted control to allow for flight path tracking and safer flight.

Softwareup to $2,700 per drone

  • Effective management, telemetry, and recording of flight paths can be fulfilled with a cloud-based solution that tracks and manages these aircraft.
  • Initial subscription funded by the grant. Renewals will be the responsibility of the municipality.

Training for Exam Preparednessup to $300 per drone

  • DHSES provides training at no cost to the participant. If training is obtained using an outside vendor, municipalities may be granted reimbursement up to a maximum of $300 (one operator per drone, one-time).
  • One time grant. Exam retakes are responsibility of the municipality.

Grant Award and Payment:

Once the grant is awarded, actual receipted expenditures falling within the guidelines noted above must be submitted directly to NYS OPRHP within 30 days of purchase for reimbursement by OPRHP. At no time will grant awards exceed $9,000 per drone, including software and training.

Application: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS/Drone) Grant Program Application FormLeaving New York State Parks