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News Release

Technical, Financial Assistance Available Under the Gulf Coast Conservation Reserve Program in Wilson County

Sonny Vela
(361) 241-0609 ext. 3

Rio Grande Clammyweed use for cover crops in Wilson County for the Gulf Coast Conservation Reserve Program.

Floresville, Texas – October 8, 2020 — The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office at 1106 10th St., in Floresville, is accepting applications from landowners, land managers and other entities in Wilson County for the Gulf Coast Conservation Reserve Program (GCCRP). The GCCRP project originated as a part of the recovery effort after the April 20, 2010, Horizon Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Through the program, NRCS will work with landowners to develop conservation plans outlining best management practices to improve water quality and wildlife habitat, including conservation buffers for riparian areas, on identified impaired stream segments in four contiguous Hydrologic Unit Core (HUCs) areas covering just over 80,000 acres.

“On the USDA side, the Gulf Coast Restoration Council created the GCCRP with $6 million total funding for four of the five Gulf states,” said Clint Evans, NRCS acting state conservationist for Texas. “Each state had the opportunity to use $1.5 million to develop a project involving water quality and wildlife habitat, with $1.2 million being made available for financial assistance available to landowners and managers in the project area who will voluntarily work with NRCS to install agreed-upon and approved conservation measures that will help ensure overall project success.”

Application funding deadlines have been set as follows:

  • Round One - Oct. 30, 2020
  • Round Two - Dec. 4, 2020
  • Round Three – Feb. 12, 2021

In Texas, project partners include the San Antonio River Authority and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. They, along with the local USDA-NRCS staff, chose the site in Wilson County with impaired stream segments in the San Antonio River Basin – Cibolo Creek –  near Stockdale, Texas.

“These funds will allow entities within these HUC boundaries to restore, protect and improve the natural resources, ecosystems, and wildlife habitats on their land, which will result in downstream benefits of improved fisheries, marine, coastal wetlands, and beaches,” said Jason Katcsmorak, NRCS district conservationist for Wilson County.

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) project funds are not subject to Farm Bill rules. Project funding to producers will be based on a modified payment schedule like the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program payment schedule. Any entity can apply, and all applications will be competitively ranked for funding.

For more information on the GCCRP, contact the NRCS office in Floresville at 830-393-3555 ext. 3. For other conservation assistance programs for your agricultural land, please visit NRCS your local USDA Service Center.