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News Release

USDA Invests More Than $3,903,896 in Partner-Driven Projects that Protect Natural Resources in South Carolina

Stuart Lee

USDA’s Natural Resources Service (NRCS) today announced that it is investing $3,903,896 in South Carolina for a partner-driven conservation project (partner-driven conservation projects) through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will leverage $ 3,885,000 in partner contributions in South Carolina and parts of North Carolina. 

“I’m excited to announce the first RCPP awards under the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Ann English, State Conservationist in South Carolina. “Through collaboration and aligning our resources toward a common goal, we’re making an impact for natural resource conservation that could never have been realized on our own.”

RCPP uses a partner-driven approach to fund innovative solutions to natural resource challenges. Through RCPP, NRCS and partners work together with private landowners and producers to implement a variety of conservation activities, including land management practices and systems, short-term land rentals, conservation easements and watershed structures. The mix of conservation activities carried out under each project is dependent on a project’s goals, objectives and conservation benefits.

These projects offer impactful and measurable outcomes. They will support diverse agricultural and natural resource objectives, from helping farmers and ranchers improve water quality, soil health and drought resiliency to protecting drinking water supplies and enhancing wildlife habitat.

NRCS announced $ 3,903,896 for Priority Upcountry Land and Water Conservation RCPP project in South Carolina, leveraging $3,885,000 in partner contributions to protect water resources, support local economies and preserve agricultural lands by enrolling 2,000 acres in conservation easements.

View this multimedia story for a full list of projects.

Nationally, NRCS is investing $206 million for 48 partner-driven conservation projects across 29 states, while leveraging nearly $300 million in partner contributions. 

Though RCPP was first authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, the 2018 Farm Bill made changes to strengthen the program and simplify its rules.  RCPP is now a stand-alone program with $300 million annually available for partner-driven projects.  In addition to the general RCPP projects announced today, NRCS has already awarded more than $50 million for 18 renewals of 2014 Farm Bill projects. A separate RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA) funding announcement is currently open until May 18.

Since 2015, RCPP has combined $1 billion in NRCS investments with close to $2 billion in partner dollars to implement conservation practices nationwide. There are currently 341 active RCPP projects and close to 2,000 RCPP partners.

Read more about the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.


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