The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $17 million nationally for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is prioritizing proposals that focus on assisting historically underserved producers conserving wetlands.
Wetland reserve easements enable landowners to successfully reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater, enhance and protect wildlife habitat and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Partners benefit from WREP by targeting outreach and enrollment priorities supported by NRCS, including places impacted by natural disasters.
Through WREP projects, eligible conservation partners protect, restore and enhance high-priority wetlands on agriculture lands. WREP enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing meaningful benefits to farmers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist.
“Our goal is to support agricultural producers in their efforts to conserve natural resources on their land,” said Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist in Indiana. “Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnerships help partners and producers work together to protect wetland ecosystems on working lands.”
Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.
Partners looking to learn more about opportunities for WREP funding for fiscal year 2022 are encouraged to attend the WREP workshop on July 15, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST. Those interested in attending should contact WREP Program Manager, Lisa McCauley at email@example.com.