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NRCS Announces Wetlands Partnership Projects in PA

Updated 05/03/2012

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Molly McDonough
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HARRISBURG, PA, May 1, 2012 — - Denise Coleman, State Conservationist, announced today that USDA's Natural resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funded two partnership agreements for high-priority wetland restoration and conservation work in Pennsylvania.

Through these agreements, NRCS will work with the Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation to enhance bog turtle habitat in southeastern Pennsylvania, and The Trust for Tomorrow to restore, enhance, and protect wetlands in the Ohio River watershed. "Combining Federal resources with the funding and expertise of these partners will help improve water quality, prevent flooding, and enhance wildlife habitat throughout the Commonwealth," said Coleman.

Federal funding is provided through the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), which is a special component of the NRCS' Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). Through WRP, private landowners can restore and permanently protect wetlands. WREP works differently-partners, such as nongovernmental organizations and state agencies, contribute assistance to leverage NRCS' funding. These partners identify special WREP project areas where they plan to focus wetlands restoration and protection efforts. Private landowners located within awarded areas can work with NRCS and the partner to restore and protect wetlands. Participants retain ownership and access to the.

These partnerships agreements are among a total of 13 projects in 12 states recently announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In Pennsylvania, each partner will receive $160,000 to deliver assistance for up to 4 years.

Next month, the NRCS celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Wetlands Reserve Program. More than 11,000 of America's private landowners have voluntarily enrolled over 2.3 million acres into the WRP. The cumulative benefits of these wetlands reach well beyond their boundaries to improve watershed health, the vitality of agricultural lands and the aesthetics and economies of local communities.

Landowners may apply at their local NRCS office (find your nearest NRCS service center at http://go.usa.gov/m2Y) or by contacting the proposal partners.

Learn more about WREP at http://go.usa.gov/m24 and find out about other NRCS programs and initiatives in Pennsylvania at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov.

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