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News Release

Federal Money Available for Wetland Restoration

NEWS RELEASE

United States Department of Agriculture  •  Natural Resources Conservation Service  •  356 Mountain View Dr., Suite 105, Colchester, Vermont 05446  •  Phone: (802) 951-6795  •  Web:http://www.nrcs.usda.gov

VERMONT, July 15, 2011 – According to the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, 50% of Vermont’s historic wetlands have been destroyed or impaired due to industrial, residential and agricultural land uses. Functioning wetlands help improve water quality, provide valuable wildlife habitat, and offer recreation opportunities. What can be done to reverse this damage to our natural resources?

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Through WRP, the NRCS will offer payment for restoration of wetlands that have previously been drained and converted to agricultural use. Eligible landowners may receive up to 100% reimbursement of restoration costs to make land suitable for wildlife.

NRCS offers permanent easements, 30-year easements, and 10-year restoration cost-share agreements where landowners retain control of access and ownership of their land. WRP is a voluntary program that offers landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. Sign-up for this program is continuous, but the deadline for the next round of annual funding is September 1, 2011.

All landowners interested in wetlands restoration projects should start by contacting their local USDA Service Center. Service Centers can be located on the NRCS website,http://www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/, or by calling 802-951-6795.

For additional information regarding the Wetlands Reserve Program, please visithttp://www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/WRP/Index.html