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News Release

NRCS Announces Funding Opportunity for Olympia Oyster Restoration Efforts

Contact:
John Kendig, Area Resource Conservationist
360-704-7783


SPOKANE, WA (January 12, 2017)  - USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today a funding opportunity through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to assist producers with restoration of the Olympia oyster in western Washington. Financial and technical assistance will be provided by EQIP to help pay for shell substrate essential for the Olympia oysters to grow upon as well as seeded cultch bags.

Although EQIP applications are accepted on a year-round basis, eligible producers and entities interested will have two cut-off dates to submit their applications for consideration for funding in fiscal year 2017. The cut-off dates are as follows: February 17, 2017, and April 21, 2017.

“Washington’s only native oyster, the Olympia Oyster, is struggling. Its population has declined by 95 percent during the past century,” said Roylene Rides at the Door, Washington state conservationist. “Historically the Olympia oyster was a major food source for native people for thousands of years. This keystone species is also important to crabs and small marine life that thrive within the oyster beds.”

Projects may be located in the Puget Sound or Willapa Bay area. Funding is limited, and applications will be subject to a ranking system.

In order to be eligible, it is important interested parties visit their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office as soon as possible to ensure their farm records are established. Each applicant must establish themselves as a USDA customer and complete all FSA eligibility requirements prior to the application cut-off dates. 

Applicants who apply as entities must provide a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), and maintain an active registration with current information prior to applying for funding and to remain eligible for payments under a funded contract. For more information regarding SAM and DUNS, or if interested in applying for EQIP funding, contact the local NRCS field office, located through the web site at: www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov.

To learn about technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or a local USDA service center.

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