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Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership Funding Opportunity and Proposal Submission Deadline Approaching

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Prairie Pothole Region

State and local units of government, Indian tribes, and nongovernmental organizations have until Aug. 16, 2024, to submit proposals.

LINCOLN, Neb., June 7, 2024 – The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) is a component of Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) that focuses on wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities. Through WREP, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) enters into agreements with eligible partners to target and leverage resources for carrying out high priority wetland activities on eligible lands. Only state agencies, county and local governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes are eligible to submit WREP proposals. Partners interested in receiving funding should sign up before Aug. 16, 2024.

A training workshop is also available for existing or prospective new partners, hosted by NRCS June 20, 2024, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. CDT to discuss program participation and FY2025 enrollment options. Potential partners may submit WREP proposals for an individual landowner project, a group of landowner projects, or specific wetland and habitat types within a watershed or geographic area.

The June 20th session will be recorded and made available to NRCS staff and partners on the NRCS ACEP webpage.

“Wetland Reserve Easements protect important wetlands within an agricultural landscape, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities,” said Nebraska NRCS State Conservationist Rob Lawson.

Through WREP agreements, partner benefits include wetland restoration and protection in areas where priorities align to enable greater impacts on the landscape; ability to cost-share restoration or enhancements beyond NRCS requirements through leveraging; and ability to provide in-kind staff capacity for acquisition, due diligence, and restoration activities.

WREP partners must contribute a financial or technical assistance match and maintain an active System for Award Management (SAM) status. All individual agreements or contracts funded under a WREP agreement must meet all ACEP-WRE eligibility and program requirements. All transactions will be processed through required agreement and contract procedures.

Partner proposals need to be submitted by Aug. 16 to the state contacts identified above and courtesy copy to NRCS.ProgramAgreements@usda.gov to be considered for this year’s funding. Partners interested in WREP are encouraged to work with their NRCS state office in developing a proposal that meets the criterial for an Agricultural Conservation Easement.

For more information about conservation programs and other assistance available, contact your local NRCS field office or visit www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.

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