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2019 Caribbean Area Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Announcement

NRCS Seeking Innovative Conservation SolutionsCaribbean Area NRCS Director, Edwin Almodóvar, is pleased to announce the availability of up to $300,000 in FY 2019 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, 2019). Funds will be awarded through a competitive process. The maximum award amount for any individual project will not exceed $75,000 in FY 2019. The closing date to submit 2019 applications is May 31, 2019.

The 2019 Caribbean Area CIG Announcement for Program Funding (APF) and Application Package can be found at www.grants.gov, Opportunity Number USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-19-GEN0010086. Electronic applications must be sent through www.grants.gov. Paper applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. May 31, 2019, 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 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 2019

For Fiscal Year 2019, CIG is focused on the following topics – one or more may be selected for proposals:

  • Soil Health: Emerging methods for slope stabilization on steep lands; Evaluation of nutrient management and integrated pest management (IPM) techniques in tropical soil health management systems.
  • Coastal Erosion: Conservation systems for coastal, marine and wetland ecosystems conservation to protect agricultural lands.
  • Wildlife Habitat Restoration: Characterization and model validation of potential habitat for the Coqui Llanero in Puerto Rico. [ID potential habitat for the species on private lands, provide habitat characteristics, validate presence or absence of the Coqui Llanero, replicate habitat characteristics in one or two areas to validate as potential conservation practice (with the same variable)].
  • Preparedness and response strategies for:
    • Proper management of routine on-farm animal mortalities,
    • Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, drought, floods, winds and their effects on natural resources.

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 2019 applications is May 31, 2019. Please visit www.grants.gov for a copy of the announcement, application package and for submission requirements (announcement # USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-19-GEN0010086). 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 31, 2019. Late applications will not be considered.

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