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News Release

USDA Seeks Project Proposals to Protect and Restore Critical Wetlands

Proposals due by June 14, 2019


Contact:
Jayme Arthurs, 302-678-4191
Dastina Wallace, 302-678-4179


DOVER, Del. May 22, 2019 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing up to $40 million in technical and financial assistance to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Restored wetlands improve water quality downstream and wildlife habitat, while also providing flood prevention and recreational benefits to communities.


“Working with our locally-led partners will build upon our shared goals to maximize wetland restoration acres in the First State,” said Kasey Taylor, Delaware State Conservationist. “The resulting increase will benefit farmers as well as the local communities.”


Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), part of NRCS’ Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.

Partners should submit proposals to NRCS at SM.NRCS.WRE@wdc.usda.gov by June 14, 2019.

Wetland reserve easements enable landowners to successfully reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater, enhance and protect wildlife habitat and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Partners benefit from WREP by targeting outreach and enrollment priorities supported by NRCS.

NRCS' easement programs allow effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the communities where the wetlands exist. Easements enable landowners to adopt a variety of conservation practices that improve the function and condition of wetlands.

Partners interested in WREP are encouraged to work with Jayme Arthurs, 302-678-4191, in the Delaware NRCS State Office when developing the proposal. Proposals must follow ACEP guidelines for wetland reserve easements.

Farmers and forest landowners interested in wetland easements should contact their local USDA service center. In Delaware’s Sussex County, call 302-856-3990, ext. 3; in Kent County, call 302-741-2600, ext. 3; and in New Castle County, call 302-832-3100, ext. 3. Or visit the ACEP webpage.

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