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2018 Caribbean Area Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Test plots for Salt Flat Conservation Buffers CIG project.

Test plots for UPR-Mayagüez Salt Flat Conservation Buffers CIG project.

Caribbean Area NRCS Director, Edwin Almodóvar, is pleased to announce the availability of up to $250,000 in FY 2018 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding for the Caribbean Area to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies (en Español). Applications will be accepted from the Caribbean Area: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands only. 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, 2018). Funds will be awarded through a competitive process. The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000 in FY 2018. The closing date to submit 2018 applications is May 30, 2018.

The 2018 Caribbean Area CIG Announcement for Program Funding (APF) and Application Package can be found at www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=302405. Electronic applications must be sent through www.grants.gov. Paper applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. May 30, 2018, at the:

NRCS Caribbean State Office
654 Muñoz Rivera Ave., Suite 604
San Juan, PR 00918-4129

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 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.

Caribbean Area CIG Priorities for 2018

For Fiscal Year 2018, CIG is focused on the following topics – one or more may be selected for proposals:

1.  Steep Land Agricultural Technology


A high percentage of the Caribbean Area topography is made of steep slope terrain. NRCS is seeking proposals that help producers establish, support or improve: management, vegetative, agronomic or engineering practices on steep lands. Projects must:

  • Demonstrate and evaluate techniques and approaches that promote adoption of science-sound engineering conservation practices to reduce soil erosion (sheet, rill, slope stabilization, farm access roads and trails) in agricultural and forest land.
  • Demonstrate and validate irrigation technology (such as water deficiency management technology) fixed for crops and orchards on steep land.
  • Demonstrate and validate approaches to manage strong winds on cropland, forestland and agroforestry systems.

2.  Renewable energy on Agricultural Enterprises

  • Demonstrate and validate adaptation trials and practical field evaluations of alternate or emerging energy technologies, sources and storage alternatives.
    • Examples: hydraulic, solar and wind technology.

3.  Risk Prevention and Management of Natural Resources affected by Natural Disasters

  • Develop comprehensive effective incident management measures, and incident response to enhance the ability to prevent and manage domestic incidents and recover from major disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and other farm emergencies.
    • Demonstrate and validate animal mortality management tools or methodologies for different farm animals.
    • Demonstrate and develop innovative biogas recovery systems from livestock operations such as manure and waste waters digesters.
    • Integration of new approaches in livestock systems, including applicable technologies such as heat stress reduction shelters, fencing and watering system innovations.
    • Develop and demonstrate cropland, grassland or forestland management measures after a catastrophic events such as but bot limited to:
      • vegetative debris management, i.e; banana fields, plantain fields, and vegetables, others as they applies to the Caribbean Area agriculture.
      • recovery of standing vegetation: shade tress, orchards, others.
      • soil management techniques after wildfires.
    • Develop and demonstrate innovative wildlife management measures after catastrophic events.
      • Habitat restoration for endangered and threatened species.

The closing date to submit 2018 applications is May 30, 2018. Please visit www.grants.gov for a copy of the announcement, application package and for submission requirements (announcement # USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-18-001). Electronic applications must be sent through www.grants.gov. Hard copy applications may be delivered to the Caribbean Area State Office no later than 4:00 p.m. May 30, 2018. Late applications will not be considered.

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