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News Release

USDA Announces Funding for Water Quality Markets, Seeks Proposals for Projects

 
Conservation Priority Report Louisiana

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01.18.2012
USDA Announces Funding for Water Quality Markets, Seeks Proposals for Projects
On January 13, 2012, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a funding opportunity that will bring states, USDA, and other stakeholders together to enhance the effectiveness of water quality credit trading.  USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing up to $10 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for these projects.  Proposals for CIG projects are due March 2, 2012.

What is water quality credit trading?
Water quality credit trading is a market-based approach to lowering the costs of reducing pollution, and has the potential to engage more farmers and ranchers in water quality improvement efforts through the implementation of more conservation practices on agricultural lands.  Through water quality credit trading, a producer who implements conservation practices to reduce water quality pollutants can also benefit by generating water quality market credits that could be sold in an open market, which would reduce the costs of implementing and maintaining the conservation practices.

NRCS requests CIG proposals for projects that:
• Support the completion of state water quality market rules and infrastructure needed to carry out water quality trading between point and non-point sources;

• Deploy and test tools and metrics needed for crediting and verifying the effectiveness of conservation practices on agricultural lands;

• Establish certification, registry, and reporting systems; and

• Educate and reach out to agriculture and other sectors.

WEBINAR

NRCS will host a webinar at 2 p.m. (central time) on January 24th for prospective applicants.  USDA officials and staff will discuss the goals of the program and answer questions about the request for proposals.

For more webinar details please go to the CIG website.

 

United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service

 

 

 

Conservation Innovation Grants
Proposals Due
March 2, 2012

For more information on Conservation Innovation Grants, go to the CIG website.

 

 

CIG funds will be awarded through a competitive grants process.  At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-Federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient. Projects must involve producers who are eligible for the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

To apply electronically, visit Grants.gov or contact a local NRCS office.

View the complete Announcement of Program Funding here.

 

 

 


For more information on Conservation Innovation Grants, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Soil and Water Conservation Districts, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or Soil and Water Conservation District.
 

Commitment to Equality
USDA believes every farmer and rancher should be treated equally and fairly, and we are committed to resolving all cases involving allegations of past discrimination by individuals.

Referral Guide for USDA Settlements and Claims Adjudication Process

 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Claims Adjudication Process
If you believe that USDA improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation.  To request a claims package by telephone, call 1-888-508-4429.  To request a claims package online, please visit
www.farmerclaims.gov

Native American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Keepseagle v. Vilsack)
If you are a Native American who was denied a farm loan or loan servicing by the USDA between January 1, 1981, and November 24, 1999, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To request a claims package by telephone, call:  1-888-233-5506.  To request a claims package online, or for more information, please visit: 
www.indianfarmclass.com

African American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Pigford II)
If you are an African American farmer (a) who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999, and June 18, 2008, under the 1999 USDA settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman ("Pigford") and (b) who did not receive a merits determination on your discrimination claim, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To hear information by telephone, call 1-866-950-5547 or 1-866-472-7826.  To find information online, please visit: 
www.blackfarmercase.com

USDA NRCS Access Opportunity Equity Partnerships

To find out more about this conservation opportunity and more, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service:  Office Locator