USDA Invests in Florida Conservation Innovation Grants

From the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service:

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Sept. 9, 2016 USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing $26.6 million into 45 innovative conservation projects on farms nationally. Public and private grantees will provide matching investments, bringing the total value of support to $59 million. The investment is made through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program.


The program awards competitive grants to local and state units of governments, American Indian tribes and individuals. The 2016 projects focus on water quality, conservation finance and assistance to historically underserved USDA customers. Approximately 25 percent of the funding will go to projects that benefit historically underserved producers, military veterans, and new and beginning farmers.


Thirteen of the projects receiving funding are for designing and implementing approaches to attract private capital to working lands conservation. These projects address natural resource issues such as organic farming, pollinators, sage-grouse conservation and forest, carbon and corporate chain sustainability. CIG is funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The maximum grant is $2 million per project and the length of time for project completion is three years.


More than a half million dollars will go to Florida for two projects:


The Nature Conservancy proposes to outline how public funding can be used to attract private impact investment funds to conservation and expand the impact of Deepwater Horizon settlement funds for Gulf of Mexico restoration. Project states include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. ($321,072)


North-South Institute, Inc., proposes to work with historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers on 75 operations in Indian River and Broward counties in Florida to reduce nitrate and phosphate runoffs and conserve on-farm energy. ($301,692)


A full listing of this fiscal year's selected projects is available on the CIG webpage


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