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News Release

NRCS Announces New Chesapeake Bay Watershed Partnership Project

Molly Hippensteel

HARRISBURG, PA, December 22, 2016– Today officials with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that a new project in Pennsylvania, led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been selected for funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

“We’re excited to work with our partners to expand our mission of conservation through strategic investment,” said NRCS State Conservationist Denise Coleman. “These partnerships will lead to cleaner, more abundant water for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, improved soil health, enhanced wildlife habitat and endangered species recovery, and stronger rural economies.” 

Through the Soil Health: Improving Land, Water and Profitability project, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and public-private partners will encourage and assist more farmers with implementing farm conservation practices that promote soil health (i.e., maximize soil organic matter, soil organisms, and nutrients) and improve “whole-farm” performance and economic viability. Eight partners will focus on implementing high-level, innovative conservation stewardship practices on 6,000 acres annually for three years, with emphasis on watersheds in Lycoming, Clinton and Centre Counties in Central Pennsylvania.

The Soil Health: Improving Land, Water and Profitability project, is one of 88 high-impact projects across the country that will receive $225 million in federal funding. In addition to a nearly $400,000 investment from Pennsylvania NRCS, partners have proposed to contribute at least an additional $400,000.

Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers and landowners to protect over 400 million acres nationwide, boosting soil and air quality, cleaning and conserving water and enhancing wildlife habitat. For more information about these and other conservation opportunities in Pennsylvania, visit the NRCS Pennsylvania website at