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2022 Caribbean Area Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Announcement

NRCS Seeking Innovative Conservation SolutionsCaribbean Area NRCS announced the availability of up to $500,000 in FY 2022 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding for the Caribbean Area to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production (en Español). Applications will be accepted only for projects carried out in the Caribbean Area: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Applications are requested from eligible government agencies, non-governmental organizations or individuals. CIG will fund single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years (anticipated project start date of September 30, 2022). Funds will be awarded through a competitive process. The maximum award amount for any individual project will not exceed $100,000 in FY 2022. At least 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG in FY 2022 is set aside for proposals from Historically Underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community-based organizations comprised of or representing these entities. The closing date to submit 2022 applications is May 29, 2022.

The 2022 Caribbean Area CIG Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and Application Package can be found at, Opportunity Number USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-22-NOFO0001205. Electronic applications must be sent through Paper applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. May 29, 2022, at the:

NRCS Caribbean State Office
654 Muñoz Rivera Ave., Suite 604
San Juan, PR 00918

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, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) to agricultural producers, into NRCS technical manuals and guides, or to the private sector. CIG generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research. On-farm conservation research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specific applied conservation question using a statistically-valid design while employing farm-scale equipment on farms, ranches or private forest lands.

CIG funds the development and field testing, on-farm research and demonstration, evaluation, or implementation of:

  • Approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption, including market-based and conservation finance approaches; and
  • Conservation technologies, practices, and systems.

Projects or activities under CIG must comply with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws and regulations throughout the duration of the project; and

  • Use a technology or approach that was studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success;
  • Demonstrate, evaluate, and verify the effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of natural resource conservation technologies and approaches in the field;
  • Adapt and transfer conservation technologies, management, practices, systems, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption;
  • Introduce proven conservation technologies and approaches to a geographic area or agricultural sector where that technology or approach is not currently in use.

Technologies and approaches that are eligible for funding in a project’s geographic area using an EQIP contract for an established conservation practice standard are ineligible for CIG funding, except where the use of those technologies and approaches demonstrates clear innovation.

Caribbean Area CIG Priorities for 2022

For Fiscal Year 2022, CIG is focused on the following topics – one or more may be selected for proposals:

  1. Interim Practice Validation Data - Infiltration ditch environmental assessment.
  2. Water Quality
    1. Validate technology that helps monitor or capture nutrients and sediments in surface waters that may impact water quality downstream.
    2. Validate field guidelines for Nitrogen Risk Assessment on Nutrient Management Planning.
  3. Climate Change
    1. Validate innovative water management techniques in the Caribbean to increase water infiltration and retention to mitigate for extended drought and climate change.
    2. Validate or develop Carbon Markets Based Economics for Caribbean Area.
  4. Soil Health
    1. Soil Health Management Systems Implementation Trials: Implementation of innovative conservation practices and systems that improve soil health in tropical soils (tropical crops), with the integration of science and technology. The systems need to achieve and target a combination of conservation practices conforming with the four basic Soil Health principles (use plant diversity to increase diversity, reduce soil disturbance, keep plants growing with living roots through the year and keep soil cover as much as possible).
    2. The final product should include guidelines for NRCS field personnel indicating how to combine existing scenarios and new recommended scenarios to existing standards or interim CPS to increase soil health farming enterprises.
  5. Erosion Management and Monitoring on Steep Land
    1. Erosion Management and Implementation Guidelines on and not limited to Steep Farm Roads and Trails or Rock Terraces.
    2. The final product sought are guidelines for NRCS field personnel indicating how to combine existing scenarios and new recommended scenarios to existing standards or interim CPS to reduce/control erosion on steep farming enterprises.
  6. Urban Conservation Soil Test Guidelines
    1. Validate X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) or other technologies to assess heavy metals or other limitations.
    2. Produce local scenarios for urban areas to address Resource Concerns.
  7. Waste Management
    1. Obtain local data on production and nutrient composition of waste produced by animal husbandry practices (dairy, poultry, swine).
    2. Validate technology to manage waste effectively.

Cost-Sharing / Matching Requirements

CIG recipients must provide a non-federal funding match or cost-share amount at least equal to the amount of federal funding requested.

Application Content and Format

Applications must contain the content, format, and information set forth in the application package to receive consideration for funding. Submit a separate application for each project if submitting more than one. Applicants should not assume prior knowledge on the part of NRCS or others as to the relative merits of the project described in the application. Applicants must submit a single copy of the application in the following format:

  • Each page must be on numbered, letter-sized (8½” x 11”) paper using a white background that has one-inch margins; and
  • The text of the application must be typed, single spaced, black, and in a font no smaller than 12-point.

Applications that are incomplete or fail to comply with the required content and formatting requirements will not be considered for funding.

The closing date to submit 2022 applications is May 29, 2022. Please visit for a copy of the announcement, application package and for submission requirements (announcement # USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-22-NOFO0001205). Electronic applications must be sent through Hard copy applications may be delivered to the Caribbean Area State Office no later than 4:00 p.m. May 29, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.

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