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News Release

Pre-Proposals for 2014 National Conservation Innovation Grant Program Due Now

Barbara Phillips

SOMERSET, February 10, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened the pre-proposal period for the 2014 national Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG)program last week. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the competitive grant program designed to stimulate the development of innovative conservation approaches and technologies on private agricultural and forest lands.

About $15 million will be made available nationwide by NRCS. The maximum award for a national CIG is $1 million. Priority will be given to applications that relate to nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, air quality, climate change, wildlife, economics, sociology, environmental markets, food safety, historically underserved groups, or assessments of past CIG projects.

Pre-proposals are due by March 7, 2014, and a webinar for potential applicants will be hosted on Thursday, February 13th at 1 pm EST. Details about this grant opportunity and Thursday’s webinar are available on the national CIG page at

“The Cape Atlantic Conservation District was awarded $91,705 for their proposal Expanding Pollinator Species Habitat Sites Utilizing Compost Filter Socksthrough the national program in 2013, and we are hopeful that there will be many more awards in New Jersey going forward,” NRCS State Conservationist Carrie Mosley said. State and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses and individuals are eligible to apply.

The grant program enables NRCS to work with public and private partners to accelerate technology development and adopt promising approaches to address natural resource concerns. Funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the grants are awarded through a competitive process. At least 50 percent of the total cost of grant projects must come from non-federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient. To apply electronically, visit

A 2014 State CIG competition will be announced within the next 30 days for projects that are state specific. State grants can be eligible for up to $75,000.