NRCS Awards Funding for CBF Partnership to Improve Shenandoah Valley Water Quality
Richmond, March 8, 2012 – John A. Bricker, Virginia State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), today announced an award of $250,000 to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to continue joint activities aimed at improving water quality in the Shenandoah Valley.
The funds are authorized under the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) administered by NRCS. “CCPI's unique partnership allows USDA to use the resources and capabilities of non-federal partners as well as its own technical and financial resources to implement conservation on working farms and forest lands," says Jack Bricker, NRCS State Conservationist.
The project which began in 2009, offers technical and financial assistance to landowners in the high-density animal production regions of Page, Rockingham, Augusta, and Shenandoah counties. Signup for this program is continuous with applications being accepted until the funds are expended. Deadlines for three ranking periods in 2012 have been set for March 30, April 30, and May 31st. All funds must be obligated in contracts with landowners by July 2, 2012.
“Increased cost-share funding will provide much needed assistance to farmers in these counties, while creating jobs and improving local economies,” said Libby Norris, Chesapeake Bay Foundation watershed restoration scientist. “We appreciate this additional opportunity to work with local farmers to implement conservation practices designed to increase farm productivity, while reducing runoff and improving local stream health and the Bay.”
Landowners who sign up can receive financial assistance to install conservation practices such as livestock stream exclusion fencing and associated off-stream watering systems to reduce sediment, pathogens, and nutrients in local streams. Specific emphasis will be placed on small tributaries such as Smith Creek, Cooks Creek, and Muddy Creek because collaborative efforts are already underway there to achieve measurable water quality improvement.
To apply for the CCPI project, contact your local NRCS office in Strasburg at 540-465-2424, Harrisonburg at 540-433-2901, or Verona at 540-248-6218.