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Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is adversely affecting the marshes and coastlands used by shorebirds, waterfowl, and other birds that will soon be traveling through the area on their annual migration south.

Under a new Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, USDA will work with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to manage portions of their land to enhance habitat for migrating birds.

The initiative includes portions of eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.

Summary of the Initiative

NRCS will improve habitat conditions and food sources for migratory birds likely to be impacted by the conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. This initiative will be delivered through two components: one component will be available on private agricultural lands and the second on Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) easement lands. NRCS will be working in cooperation with private landowners and other partners to establish habitat and food sources as well as improve the overall habitat management on participating lands.

Eligible producers may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of installation of conservation practices. 

Eligible producers may receive a payment based on the statewide average cost of the installation of the conservation practice.  Socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers are eligible for a higher payment based on the statewide average cost of the installation of the conservation practice.  In addition, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers can receive up to 30 percent advanced payment for purchasing materials or contracting.

These documents may require Adobe Reader, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Word.

Flyer - Opportunity to Expand Habitat for Migrating Birds (PDF, 54 KB)
National Screening Criteria (docx, 19 KB)
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Conservation Program Application and Appendix - NRCS-CPA-1200 (PDF, 35 KB)
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) Conservation Program Application, NRCS-CPA1200 and Appendix to Form
     NRCS-CPA-1202, Conservation Program Contract  (PDF, 28 KB)

National Website:  Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

Alabama Contacts for Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative