The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land.
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State Program Overview
NRCS has been bolstering locally led conservation and expanding partnerships through the RCPP since its inception in 2014. Maryland has led or been partner to 13 RCPP projects that leveraged partner funds to support out-of-the box solutions to today’s conservation concerns.
Maryland's resource priorities are:
- Water Quality
- Soil Health
- Wetland Restoration and Easements
- Land Easements
- Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species
- Air Quality
Achieving WIP Goals and Nutrient Management in Maryland- This is a Critical Conservation Area (CCA) RCPP project to promote a cost effective and nutrient effective solution to address manure management and related resource concerns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The overall project success will be based on reducing the best management practice (BMP) gap for the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and increasing NM regulation compliance in northern Maryland. Producers in Allegany, Baltimore, Cecil, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, and Washington counties who are interested in Waste Storage Facilities, Watering Facilities, and Fencing are encouraged to visit their local USDA Service Center to apply.
Grazing for Water Quality & Soil Health- In partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, this multi-state RCPP project seeks to increase the adoption of complementary practices like livestock stream exclusion, off-stream watering, and forested buffers in the northern tier counties in Maryland to reduce nutrients and sediment runoff and help with the Chesapeake Bay clean-up. Producers located in Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington interested in pasture intensive Prescribed Grazing, Forage and Biomass Planting, Watering Facilities, and Fencing are encouraged to visit their local USDA Service Center to apply.
Chesapeake Bay Farm Stewardship and Preservation- The Chesapeake Bay Farm Stewardship and Preservation project supports a diverse three-state partnership to accelerate the adoption of precision nutrient management and soil health practices. Financial and technical assistance will be focused where: 1) practices will have the greatest impact on Chesapeake Bay water quality; 2) farmers have demonstrated enthusiasm for these practices; 3) partner outreach and education and technical assistance efforts support financial assistance delivery; and 4) prime farmland is located. This project is open to all producers in Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties, as well as all Eastern Shore counties of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester. Participants in these locations who are interested in Animal Mortality Facilities, Residue and Tillage Management (No-Till), Cover Crop, or Nutrient Management are encouraged to visit their local USDA Service Center to apply.
How to Apply
Partners - NRCS will release an announcement for program funding, that will outline requirements for proposal submissions for funding. NRCS will review partnership proposals according to the priorities identified in the announcement and make project selections. Upon selection of a partnership proposal, NRCS and the partner will enter into a partnership agreement through which they will coordinate to provide producers in the project area assistance. Partnership agreements may be for a period of up to five years. NRCS may extend an agreement one time for an additional 12 months if needed to meet the objectives of the program.
Producers – NRCS will have several opportunities for producers to apply for existing RCPP project funds throughout the year. Fiscal year 2024 cut-off dates are yet to be determined.
Find the latest news, program guidance, and eligibility specifics on the national RCPP webpage.
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.