Skip Navigation

Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP)

ACEP_WetlandRestoration_WebHeader

 

The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) is a voluntary program through which NRCS signs agreements with eligible partners to leverage resources to carry out high priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement and to improve wildlife habitat. It is part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), a Farm Bill conservation program.

WREP Resources

2019 Deadline for proposals: June 14, 2019

Program at a Glance

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.

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, including places impacted by natural disasters.

The voluntary nature of NRCS' easement programs enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers 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.

Benefits

Wetland reserve easements provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.

Partner benefits through WREP agreements include:

  • Wetland restoration and protection in critical areas;
  • Ability to cost-share restoration or enhancement beyond NRCS requirements through leveraging;
  • Able to participate in the management or monitoring of selected project locations; and
  • Ability to use innovative restoration methods and practices.

Who Is Eligible

Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan. This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.

How to Apply

Partners interested in WREP are encouraged to work with their NRCS state office as part of developing the proposal. Proposals must follow ACEP guidelines for wetland reserve easements.

Proposals should be emailed to NRCS at SM.NRCS.WRE@wdc.usda.gov by June 14, 2019.

To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, landowners may apply at any time at the local USDA Service Center.