Awards $26 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants
University of Delaware Awarded Grant to Develop Innovative Agriculture
DOVER, Del., Aug. 27,
2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced $26 million
in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) awarded to 59 entities across
the nation for projects that test and prove innovative approaches to
conserving America’s private lands.
University of Delaware
will receive nearly $1 million through CIG for innovative approaches to
capture nitrogen and air pollutant emissions from poultry operations.
The goal is to help broiler producers adopt economical and effective
strategies to improve their environmental performance, meet regulation
requirements on air and water quality and achieve sustainable,
productive, and profitable broiler producing operations. Demonstration
sites will be in Arkansas, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
“These grants will help
spur creative solutions to address natural resource concerns of our
nation’s waterways, farms, and forests,” said Russell Morgan, State
Conservationist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
“Conservation grants allow the best minds in America to develop unique
and innovative solutions that will help make conservation more efficient
in the future.”
New this year was a
special emphasis on water quality trading markets to demonstrate how
farmers and ranchers can help municipalities and other point sources
overcome high pollution control costs. Twelve entities received grant
funds for this purpose; however, none were in Delaware.
In a water quality
trading program, point sources buy environmental benefits or “credits”
from landowners who install specific conservation practices. Farmers
can produce water quality credits by implementing conservation practices
that reduce nutrients or sediment losses, and generally at a much lower
cost than a municipal treatment facility. The goal is to achieve water
quality improvements more cost-effectively by bringing together willing
buyers and sellers.
NRCS administers CIG as
part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Grant
winners pay 50 percent of all project costs. Grants are awarded to
state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes,
non-governmental organizations, and individuals.
NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation
technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to
address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation,
and environmental markets among other natural resource issues.
For a complete list of CIG awardees and more information about NRCS
conservation programs online, visit:
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