Pre-proposals are due July 14 for NRCS’ Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), a new partnership program that leverages partner and agency funds and resources for specially-designed conservation projects. RCPP will competitively award funds to the projects designed by partners.
Eligible partners include universities, local governments, non-profits, private companies and more. RCPP has three funding pools: 35 percent of funding is dedicated to eight critical conservation areas—one of which includes the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; 40 percent of funds is directed to national projects; and 25 percent goes to state-level projects.
The top RCPP priorities in Delaware are: Water Quality Degradation (excess nutrients in surface and ground waters) and (pesticides transported to surface and ground waters); Insufficient Water (inefficient use of irrigation water); Excess Water (ponding, flooding, seasonal high water table, seeps and drifted snow) and Soil Erosion.
If you have a question about RCPP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For complete eligibility requirements and more program information, visit www.de.nrcs.usda.gov and click on the RCPP link.
Funds Available to Improve Water Quality in Targeted Watershed
Farmers in the Clear Brook-Nanticoke River Watershed have an opportunity to receive financial assistance to make improvements to their agricultural land that will improve water quality. NRCS in Delaware is providing $280,000 through the National Water Quality Initiative to help farmers avoid, trap and control runoff in this area.
The Clear Brook-Nanticoke River Watershed is located in the western region of Sussex County between Bridgeville and Seaford. Of the 24,000 acres that make up the watershed, 60 percent is in agricultural land. The watershed is on the State of Delaware’s list of impaired watersheds due to excess nutrients.
Beneficial practices to improve water quality may include nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, and in some cases, edge-of-field water quality monitoring.
Interested producers should contact their local NRCS office in Sussex County for more information at 302-856-3990 x3. For more information on eligibility requirements and program details, visit www.de.nrcs.usda.gov.
Caption: Farmer Richard Miller of Seaford (L) talks with Senator Carper (D-Del.) and NRCS State Conservationist Kasey Taylor (R) about his experience and success with the NWQI last year.
NRCS Employee Recognized for GIS Work
Art Walker, GIS Specialist, represents NRCS on the Delaware Geographic Data Committee (DGDC), a cooperative team designed to build and improve the coordination of GIS tools and spatial data in Delaware. Being on this team, he was able to serve on their GIS Day planning subcommittee. Due to the large success of the 2013 GIS Day event, this committee was recently nominated for the 2014 Delmarva Geographic Service Award (Delaware’s highest award given to a GIS Professional).
The GIS Day event is held at the Dover Air Force Base Air Mobility Command Museum every November to coincide with National GIS Day. Delaware students in the 5th and 6th grades from all school districts come to this event to learn about GIS applications and its many uses across all agencies in the State.
Although the GIS Day planning subcommittee did not win the award, each member took home a Certificate of Recognition and feeling of accomplishment to be recognized at such a high level. The Delaware Geographic Data Committee is comprised of representatives from the government, academic sector and the private sector.
Caption: GIS Day planning subcommittee- (Left four only): Danielle Lamborn (Kent County GIS Mapping Division), Art Walker (NRCS), Darin Dell (DelDOT) and Miriam Pomilio (OMB).
USDA People's Garden Planting
On May 21, 2014, Delaware NRCS employees along with students from North Dover Elementary School participated in the 5th annual planting of the USDA’s People’s Garden in Dover. Students planted red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, squash, peppers marigolds and more. Students also received a lesson in soils and took home their own soil tube with the top three layers of Delaware’s state soil—Greenwich.
For volunteer opportunities in the PG Garden, contact Dastina Wallace, 302-678-4179.
'eNewsbytes' are archived online for viewing anytime. Visit www.de.nrcs.usda.govand click on the eNewsbytes icon on the right side of the webpage for more information. Additional information on Delaware NRCS programs and services is also available online.