Wetlands conservation assistance programs get USDA funding

Sponsored by

WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2010 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) that will add an expected 75,000 additional acres to the approximately 2.2 million acres currently enrolled in the program. The funding will go to wetland conservation projects in 22 states and Puerto Rico.

"Healthy wetlands play several critical roles in protecting our environment, including improving water quality, preventing flooding and soil erosion, and creating and maintaining the best possible wildlife habitat," said Vilsack. "Farmers, ranchers and other private landowners play a critical role in protecting our wetlands, and the funding announced today will provide even more opportunities to maximize wetland values and ensure that these important natural resources survive for generations to come."

The funding availability announced today totals nearly $175 million, and will be distributed to the following states:

Wetlands are areas saturated by water all or most of a year. Often called "nature's kidneys," wetlands naturally filter contaminants out of water. Wetlands also recharge groundwater, prevent flooding and soil erosion, and slow the flow of water that runs across the surface of the land.

Funded through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) WRP is a voluntary program that helps landowners address wetland and wildlife natural resource concerns on private lands. WRP participants limit their future use of the land, but retain private ownership.

WRP offers permanent easements that pay 100 percent of the value of an easement and up to 100 percent of easement restoration costs, and 30-year easements that pay up to 75 percent of the value of an easement and up to 75 percent of easement restoration costs. WRP also offers restoration cost-share agreements to restore wetland functions and values without placing an easement on enrolled acres; NRCS pays up to 75 percent of restoration costs.

For additional information about WRP, please visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp/.

For information about other NRCS conservation programs, visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov, or visit the nearest USDA Service Center in your area. 2010 represents the 75th year of NRCS "helping people help the land." Since its inception in 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.

Follow NRCS on Twitter at: twitter.com/usda_nrcs.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

EPA to assist water utilities in improving resilience to climate change

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will be providing up to $600,000 in training and technical assistance to help water utilities in more than 20 communities across the U.S. bolster their climate change resilience and readiness.

WRF research develops tool to help utilities reduce leakage losses in distribution system

Through recently completed research and development of a new leakage analysis tool, the "Water Audits and Real Loss Component Analysis" project, the Water Research Foundation is helping water utilities better understand and control leakage in a cost-effective manner. 

Local orgs praise EPA for advancing affordability framework for municipal CWA requirements

The EPA released a "Financial Capability Assessment Framework for Municipal Clean Water Act Requirements," which was the result of nearly two years of discussions with representatives of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Counties.

New Zealand farms improve demanding effluent transfers with progressing cavity pump

NOV Mono has provided a Mono progressing cavity pump to replace a number of centrifugal pumps at Castle Glen Farms in the town of Foxton, New Zealand, in an effort to transfer animal effluent over considerable distances.  

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA