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News Release

NRCS Partners in Maryland Receive $82,000 for Conservation Innovations

Annapolis, Md., September 24, 2020 – Two Maryland organizations have been selected to receive a combined total of over $82,000 through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). The projects support water quality and soil health innovations.

“These grants will help spur creativity and problem-solving on Maryland’s farms,” said Terron Hillsman, NRCS State Conservationist in Maryland. “The projects continue Maryland’s commitment to improving soil health and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.”

CIG grants awarded are as follows:

Keith Underwood & Associates will construct a regenerative stream channel (RSC) on a working sod farm to slow stormwater flows which in turn reduce surface erosion, allow sediments to settle out, increase water storage, improve water quality, and create habitat. This demonstration project will be utilized to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of RSC to agricultural landowners.

Pallas LLC will use an automated grazing system combined with intentionally mapped and placed plant species in small orchards to increase soil regeneration and operational efficiencies. The demonstration will allow more farms to diversify their enterprises while simultaneously caring for the health of the soil.

NRCS administers CIG as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address a wide range of natural resource issues.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on  NRCS, visit