The NRCS Massachusetts State Office has announced the availability of up to $130,000 in Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) funding to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies.
NRCS will consider proposals for projects that address energy conservation, invasive species control, soil health and water quality. Additional topics may be considered at the State Conservationist’s discretion.
NRCS will fund single and multi-year projects. Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process. Projects are not to exceed three years with an anticipated project start date of September 1, 2014; award amounts for individual projects will range between $10,000 and $75,000. Eligible entities include federally recognized Indian tribes, state and local units of government, and non-governmental organizations and individuals in Massachusetts.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the launch of what he calls “a new era in American conservation efforts” with an historic focus on public-private partnership.
“This is an entirely new approach to conservation,” Vilsack said. “We’re giving private companies, local communities and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations.”
The new conservation program, called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and will benefit areas all across the nation, including Massachusetts. RCPP streamlines federal conservation efforts by combining four programs (the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, and the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion) into one.