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News Release

SC Natural Resources Conservation Service Announces Grant Funding for Innovative Conservation Projects

Evelyn Whitesides

Grant applications due to SC NRCS by May 19th

COLUMBIA, SC, March 4, 2014 – NRCS State Conservationist Ann English announced a call for applications for the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) State Component today. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on May 19, 2014. NRCS anticipates that a total of $300,000 will be available to support this program in 2014. Last year, South Carolina NRCS funded seven grants totaling $410,000. The grants facilitated projects that tested and demonstrated innovative approaches to conserving private lands.

The CIG State Component offers eligible entities the opportunity to apply for grants up to $75,000. This fiscal year, proposals should focus on the following technologies and/or approaches: nutrient management; energy conservation; soil health; wildlife; water quality; water management; farm bill program outreach; air quality; silvopasture; or forestry.

CIG applicants must be a Federally recognized Indian tribe, State or local unit of government, non-governmental organization, or individual. Selected applications may receive grants of up to 50 percent of their total project cost not to exceed $75,000. Recipients must match the USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and in-kind contributions, and matching funds must be secured at the time of the application.

State funds for projects between one and three years in duration are awarded through a statewide competitive grants process. The Announcement of Program Funding document outlines the entire application process. The grant application package materials identify the objectives for CIG projects, details on topics that are considered for funding, the eligibility criteria for projects and associated instructions needed to apply. Applications are evaluated by a technical peer review panel and scored based on the criteria identified in the Announcement of Program Funding.

CIG is a voluntary program intended 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 (EQIP) funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal entities.

For more information, please visit the South Carolina Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) page.