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News Release

USDA Announces $5 Million in Wetland Mitigation Banking Program Funds

Contact:
Tanya Koch
701.530.2096
tanya.koch@usda.gov

 

BISMARCK, ND, May 6, 2020 – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today the availability of up to $5 million for wetland mitigation banks. This funding through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program is available to help conservation partners develop or establish mitigation banks to help agricultural producers maintain eligibility for USDA programs.

“Wetlands in North Dakota are a natural and historical piece of the landscape. Wetland Mitigation Banks offer producers an opportunity to manage wetlands and continue to meet USDA elegibility requirements.  There are not enough wetland banks for agriculture to meet the need,” says Mary Podoll, North Dakota State Conservationist.  “This program will provide financial assistance to build a framework for a wetland bank for agriculture.”

Wetland mitigation banking is the restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for unavoidable impacts on wetlands at other locations. The Farm Bill’s wetland conservation provisions, commonly called Swampbuster provisions, aim to remove certain incentives to convert wetlands or to produce agricultural commodities on converted wetlands.

Producers seeking benefits through most USDA programs must comply with wetland conservation provisions by affirming they will not impact wetlands on their lands. In situations where avoidance or on-site mitigation is challenging, the Farm Bill allows for off-site mitigation through the purchase of mitigation banking credits.

This competitive grants program helps states, local governments and other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks to restore, create or enhance wetland ecosystems.

Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov offsite link imageby 11:59 p.m. ET on July 6, 2020.

NRCS is accepting proposals from eligible Indian Tribes, state and local units of government, for-profit entities and nongovernmental organizations.

For more information on wetland mitigation banking, visit our website or contact Mary Podoll, State Conservationist, at mary.podoll@usda.gov or Jennifer Vetter, Acting Assistant State Conservationist (Compliance) at jennifer.vetter@usda.gov.

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