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Projects and Initiatives

In fiscal year 2015, NRCS in Texas will invest more than $24 million of state and federal funding dedicated to the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico. Conservation activity underway with NRCS and partners includes:

  • Gulf Coast Conservation Planning Project – Gulf Coast Conservation Planning Project – Significantly expands wildlife habitat restoration efforts with private landowners and operators. The five-year project will primarily focus on developing conservation plans on private lands that address natural resource concerns in 32 high-priority counties. Partners include the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
  • An agreement between NRCS and NFWF focuses on easement acquisitions along the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which includes Wetland Reserve easements is being used to accelerate restoration for three easement acquisitions along Texas Gulf of Mexico counties to leverage and build on past easement efforts.
  • $32 million RESTORE Act Proposal focuses on leveraging $17 million of conservation partner funds for restoration projects along the entire Gulf of Mexico coastal areas. This proposal is under consideration by the Gulf Restoration Council. For proposal details visit, Restoring the Gulf on the National site.
  • Rice Stewardship Partnership: Sustaining the Future of Rice – A part of a six state National selected RCCP project involving water quantity and habitat restoration.  
    Geographic focus is the approximate 3 million rice-growing acres in Texas, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. From a landscape point of view, this encompasses the Gulf Coast, Lower Mississippi River Valley, and California’s Central Valley.
  • State funded USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) - Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Improvement Initiative project focusing on irrigation water management and water quantity in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Lead partner is Texas Water Resources Institute.
  • State funded USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – Texas Gulf Coast Stream and Wetland Initiative project focusing on coastal and upstream habitat restoration and wetlands. Lead partner is Resource Institute, Inc.
  • NRCS Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) with Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries. An easement project selected along the coast for wetland and coastal enhancement and preservation.
  • Texas Forest Ecosystem Improvement Project – The NRCS, U.S. Forest Service and the Texas A&M Forest Service are partnering their efforts on forest health, water quality and wildfire mitigation in five counties - Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto and Walker. Fragmentation and urban sprawl have impacted forest health and made forest management challenging in these areas, as demands on these resources increase 
  • Longleaf Pine Initiative – a National initiative that focuses on Longleaf Pine restoration including the coastal area of Texas.

Statewide Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) resource concerns and priority areas:

  • Bob White Quail Priority Area – Funding is dedicated toward habitat restoration for the Bob White Quail.
  • Nueces River Basin Water Conservation Priority Area – Funding is dedicated to addressing water quality concerns on impaired segments of streams in the Nueces River Basin Watershed.
  • Central Gulf Coast Irrigation Priority Area – Funding is dedicated to addressing water quantity concerns while incorporating water quality improvement practices along the coast.
  • Water Quality Priority Area – Funding is dedicated to addressing water quality on impaired stream segments. 
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding in selected gulf coast counties to address locally identified and prioritized resource issues and concerns.   
  • Expansion of the initially targeted national GoMI Priority Area – Funding is dedicated to focusing on water quality and soil health issues in the San Antonio River Watershed upstream from the original targeted National GoMI watersheds.
  • Pollinator habitat emphasis along the coast with a targeted focus on Monarch Butterfly habitat and their Gulf Coast migration flyway.