Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service works with farmers, ranchers, aquaculturists, non-industrial foresters and other landowners to develop and enhance habitat for birds making their annual migration south towards the Gulf of Mexico. Under the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, NRCS will partner with producers to manage portions of their land to provide additional food and habitat for migrating birds.
More than 50 million migratory birds traveling south in coming months will instinctively head toward the marshes and coastlands of the northern Gulf of Mexico, including Florida. With some marshes and shorelines in Florida already degraded, it is essential that we provide inland and coastal food, water and cover for migratory birds before they reach the oil-impacted areas.
The initiative encompasses portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. NRCS, in cooperation with its conservation partners, has identified priority areas that offer the greatest habitat potential for migrating bird populations. NRCS anticipates improving habitat on up to 100,000 to 150,000 acres throughout the eight states, based on expected producer participation.
Priority areas in Florida are in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Madison and Lafayette counties.
Interested producers should contact their local USDA Service Center for additional information.