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Conservation Programs and Practices for Aquaculture

In Massachusetts, we offer Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding to shellfish aquaculture growers on Cape Cod and the islands  to implement best management practices designed to protect wildlife, improve water quality, promote healthy bivalve production and reduce vessel strikes.

An oyster grower at work.Conservation practices eligible for financial assistance

  • Bivalve Aquaculture Gear and Biofouling Control: Recycling of biofouled gear with redundant gear, and removal of gear waste from the marine environment to reduce wildlife entanglement, as well as deployment of
    temperature data loggers, and environmental
    monitoring and recordkeeping.
  • Access Control: Standard navigational delineation of shellfish areas to reduce vessel strikes on aquaculture grants.

About the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP is a voluntary federal conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers who want to improve and protect soil, water, air, plants, and animals on their land.

  • EQIP contracts can last from two to 10 years.
  • Payments are limited to $450,000 per participant over a six year period.
  • There is no minimum acreage requirement, however projects that address significant resource concerns are more likely to be funded.
  • You will be reimbursed after the practices have been installed.
  • Financing may be available through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) or private lending agencies.

How do I apply?

Contact the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office in West Yarmouth to determine your eligibility for the program.

Submit your application with all eligibility completed to the NRCS office in West Yarmouth.

What do I need to apply?

  • Proof of aquacultural production for a year
  • Proof of control of land (lease) for entire length of contract
  • USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) forms:
    • CCC-941 – Adjusted Gross Income self-certification
    • AD-1026 – Food Security Act compliance
    • CCC-901 – Designation of Entity/Members/Shares and tracking of payment shares.

What else do I need to know?

  • Proof of signature authority is necessary for all applications except individuals
  • The entity type, name and tax ID, MUST match the information on file with the IRS.

Related publications

Contact us:

West Yarmouth Field Office
Serving Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties
303 Main St, Route 28, West Yarmouth, MA 02673-4661