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News - Media Advisory Conservation Innovation from the Ground Up

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Media Advisory

Conservation Innovation from the Ground Up

Federal, State and Local partners to discuss how water quality trading market will benefit local community and agriculture

NRCS Contact:
Jonathan Groveman
Work: (530) 792-5692
Cell: (703) 980-1464

WHAT: The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California, the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District (SRCD), the City of Santa Rosa and other partners are embarking on a new and innovative venture that will generate new revenue to fund enhanced on-farm conservation practices through a municipal water quality credit trading market. The partners will gather at the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant in Santa Rosa to discuss initial program successes and new conservation pilot projects that have been funded by this credit market. Participants will take a short tour of the facility and will discuss the fundamentals of this new program.

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, 3 p.m.

WHERE: The Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant located at 4300 Llano Road in Santa Rosa. Participants will meet in the visitor parking lot outside the facility administration building.

WHO: James Gore, NRCS Assistant Chief from Washington, D.C., and City of Santa Rosa officials will provide brief remarks and will be available for questions.

BACKGROUND: Carbon trading markets have become popular in recent years and California is one of the first States to encourage public and private organizations to establish these markets to generate new revenue streams. A newer frontier in conservation within California is water quality credit trading, an approach to water quality improvement that has seen success in several other states. SRCD is working with the City of Santa Rosa to launch a water quality credit trading market in which the City will fund on-farm conservation practices in exchange for credits to offset the impacts of excess treated wastewater discharges into a local creek. These on-farm conservation practices, not limited to filter strips, manure management and erosion control, will enhance local water quality, sequester carbon, and help local farmers be better stewards of the land.

NRCS awarded SRCD $570,000, through the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program, to implement - and ensure the success of - this innovative and unique trading market concept aimed at improving local water quality.

DIRECTIONS: From U.S. 101 Southbound, take exit 485 and merge onto Todd Road. Continue for approximately 3 miles and turn left onto Llano Road for approximately 1 additional mile. Arrive at 4300 Llano Road. Parking is available.

Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs.

-NRCS-

 The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people
conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

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