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Press Release

USDA grants available to spur innovative conservation technologies in Rhode Island

Up to $170,000 available; apply by June 24, 2023!
Publish Date
Rhode Island CIG - Drone flight at Newport Vineyards - Dec2020.

R. Phou Vongkhamdy, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Rhode Island, announces up to $170,000 in funding available for eligible individuals, local and state governments, non-governmental organizations and tribes through Conservation Innovations Grants (CIG).

CIG is intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection. The deadline to submit CIG applications is 11:59 pm EDT on June 24, 2023. To apply, visit for the 2023 Announcement of Program Funding, funding opportunity number USDA-NRCS-RI-CIG-23-NOFO0003101.

“Conservation Innovation Grants are critical for developing science, technology and innovative tools to address natural resource concerns on Rhode Island’s private working lands,” said Vongkhamdy. “The overall goal is to incorporate new innovations into NRCS technical manuals and make them available to the agricultural community.”

Projects must be within Rhode Island and in conjunction with agricultural production. They may be area-based or statewide in scope. Applicants submitting proposals may request up to $170,000 of matching federal funds. The funding floor for a single award is $10,000 and the funding ceiling for a single award is $170,000. At least 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG in FY 2023 will be set aside for proposals from Historically Underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community-based organizations comprised of or representing these entities. CIG recipients must provide a non-federal funding match at least equal to the amount of federal funding requested. The non-federal match can be cash, in-kind or a combination of both.

CIG applications must involve Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern in one of the following categories: aquatic resources and wildlife, urban and small-scale farms, water quality and quantity, soil health, and climate-smart agriculture and forestry. 

CIG does not fund research projects. The program is designed to aid the adoption of measures that have been sufficiently studied to indicate a high likelihood of success.

State Conservation Innovation Grants build on our national program and enable NRCS to better address natural resource concerns at the local level. For example, one Rhode Island CIG project expanded summer cover crops to improve soil and water quality on RI farms by using Japanese millet, teff, and mustard to effectively build soil health and meet weed suppression standards in Rhode Island’s climate. Another project improved habitat for priority species in Rhode Island by providing recommendations for improving NRCS practice standards and job sheets for early successional habitat.

Learn more about Rhode Island State Conservation Innovations Grants.


Joe Bachand, Program Manager / 401-822-8818

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