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News Release

NRCS Announces 2017 Caribbean Area Conservation Innovation Grant Awardees

Jaime Valentín, State Resource Conservationist
787-766-5065 / 787-360-9538

Four projects selected from over 17 submissions from organizations throughout Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

Caribbean Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)- A roller-crimper terminates sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI.NRCS Caribbean Area Director, Edwin Almodóvar, is pleased to announce the recipients of $250,000 in fiscal year 2017 Conservation Innovation Grants for the Caribbean Area. Four projects were selected from a total of 17 submissions from organizations throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

NRCS seeks projects that demonstrate, evaluate and quantify the effects of conservation practices, systems and strategies to protect and improve natural resources in the Caribbean Area,” said Director Almodóvar.

The four awarded projects focus on developing and demonstrating cutting-edge ideas to further advance innovation in resource conservation on private lands in the Caribbean Area. The Fiscal Year 2017 Caribbean Area CIG awardees and projects are:

  • Alejandro Mieses Castellano: for his project, “Comprehensive Environmental Simulation Software of Long-term Natural Phenomena for Community Education Purposes.”
  • UPR Mayagüez: for their project, “To Validate and Demonstrate Local Vegetation Mannings-N Values for Retardance Index in the Caribbean Area to cover Waterways and Open Channels and reduce risk of Erosion.”
  • UPR Agricultural Experiment Station: for their project, “Farm Management of Agricultural manures and organic residues through compost or fermentation.”
  • UPR Agricultural Experiment Station: for their project, “Use of Cover Crops to improve tropical soil health and quality in Puerto Rico.”

Grantees must work with producers and forestland owners to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies related to agricultural production and participation in EQIP and related Farm Bill Programs.

The 2017 Caribbean CIG focused on climate change, soil health, water resources, energy resources, plants and wildlife, air resources, and projects benefiting historically-underserved producers and veteran farmers. CIG results are anticipated to advance the foundation for sustainable agriculture and enable producers to conserve their natural resources.

CIG is a voluntary program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals.

Since 2004, NRCS has invested nearly $286.7 million in more than 700 projects focused on providing farmers and ranchers with new techniques, data and decision-making tools for improving natural resources conservation on their land. For more information, visit your local USDA Service Center.


Release No. 2018-07

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