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News Release

Federal funding available for fish habitat projects in Connecticut River Watershed

Diane Petit, Public Affairs Officer
413-253-4371, cell 413-835-1276

The Connecticut River Valley

AMHERST, Mass., May 19, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts have announced that farm and forest land owners in the Connecticut River Watershed are eligible for funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) / Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for projects that restore fish habitat or improve fish access to habitat. Applications are due by June 19, 2020.

Made available through the "Connecting the Connecticut River Watershed" RCPP project, the funding will improve water quality, climate resiliency, and habitat for fish and wildlife in high priority aquatic and terrestrial sites. Special priority will be given to applicants who seek to restore or improve access to fish habitat based on state or federally mapped extents as prioritized under one of several published models:

Applications will be ranked according to their contribution to the RCPP goals of improving water quality, wildlife habitat, and climate resiliency, with priority given to projects that remove barriers to restore rivers. For help determining if a project is eligible for funding, potential applicants in the Massachusetts portion of the Connecticut River Watershed may contact:

RCPP-EQIP CT River Watershed townsRCPP promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners that offer value-added contributions to expand the agency’s ability to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to the natural resource concerns they address.

The Nature Conservancy is one of 70 organizations that partner with the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge to protect land and water in the Connecticut River Watershed, using nature to help reduce the risk of floods, and manage nutrients and protect soil health, with a focus on high-priority aquatic and terrestrial sites. Planned activities will build upon the Conte Comprehensive Conservation Plan and the vision articulated in such planning efforts as Connect the Connecticut.

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with the people of Massachusetts to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources. The agency has offices in USDA Service Centers in Greenfield, Hadley, Holden, Pittsfield, Westford, West Wareham and West Yarmouth, which work with local conservation districts and other partners to serve farmers and landowners in their area.