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Conservation Innovation Grants

Caribbean Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)- A roller-crimper terminates sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI.2018 Caribbean Area CIG Announcement of Program Funding (APF)

Caribbean Area NRCS Director, Edwin Almodóvar, announces the availability of up to $250,000 in FY 2018 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding for the Caribbean Area to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies (en Español). Applications will be accepted from the Caribbean Area: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands only. Applications are requested from eligible government agencies, non-governmental organizations or individuals. CIG funds single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years (anticipated project start date of September 30, 2018). Funds are awarded through a competitive process; the maximum award amount for any project can not exceed $75,000 in FY 2018. Grant proposals are due May 30, 2018.

The complete 2018 Caribbean Area CIG Request for Applications can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=302405. Electronic applications must be sent through www.grants.gov. Please visit the 2018 Caribbean Area CIG page for more details.

2018 CIG National Competition

NRCS is investing $10 million for new national CIG projects in fiscal year 2018, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals were due February 26, 2018.

The NRCS uses CIG to work with partners to accelerate transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches that address some of the nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns. This year, NRCS is focusing funding in these areas:

  • Grazing Lands: Helping livestock producers make grazing management decisions, encouraging prescribed burning as a grazing management practice, and improving access to conservation planning tools used for developing grazing management plans.
  • Organic Agriculture Systems: Helping organic producers develop innovative cropping and tillage systems, edge-of-field monitoring, crop rotations, and inter-cropping systems.
  • Soil Health: Supporting both cropping and grazing systems, in a variety of climatic zones, that incorporate soil health management systems for addressing specific resource concerns like nutrients and availability. Evaluating multiple soil health assessment methods to assist in the development of new soil health indicators and thresholds.

American Indian tribes, state and local units of government, non-governmental organizations and individuals are eligible and encouraged to submit applications. Project proposals must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov and a pdf copy must be e-mailed to nrcscig@wdc.usda.gov. For details, visit the National CIG Program Website. Grant proposals were due February 26, 2018.

2017 Caribbean Area CIG Awards - NEW!

In December 2017, Caribbean Area NRCS awarded $225,000 in FY 2017 State Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) to 4 projects in Puerto Rico to develop and demonstrate cutting‐edge conservation in the Caribbean Area. The grants are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

The 2017 Caribbean Area CIG awardees are:

  • Alejandro Mieses Castellano: awarded $50,470 for his project, “Comprehensive Environmental Simulation Software of Long-term Natural Phenomena for Community Education Purposes.”
  • UPR Mayagüez: awarded $47,359 for their project, “To Validate and Demonstrate Local Vegetation Mannings-N Values for Retardance Index in the Caribbean Area to cover Waterways and Open Channels and reduce risk of Erosion.”
  • UPR Agricultural Experiment Station: awarded $74,811 for their project, “Farm Management of Agricultural manures and organic residues through compost or fermentation.”
  • UPR Agricultural Experiment Station: awarded $45,963 for their project, “Use of Cover Crops to improve tropical Soil health and quality in Puerto Rico.”

Plantains with a Canavalia ensiformis cover crop.2015 Caribbean Area CIG Awards

In September 2015, Caribbean Area NRCS awarded $207,519 in FY 2015 State Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) to 4 projects in Puerto Rico to develop and demonstrate cutting‐edge conservation in the Caribbean Area. The grants are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

The 2015 Caribbean Area CIG awardees are:

  • Agro Tropical, Inc. - Awarded $75,000 for Development of an Innovative Soil Health Management System for commercial‐scale plantain production systems in Puerto Rico.
  • UPR Estación Experimatal Agrícola - Awarded $20,839 to Demonstrate, quantify and validate the effectiveness of compost as a soil amendment to manage nutrients and pests in important vegetable production systems in Puerto Rico.
  • Para La Naturaleza (PR Conservation Trust) - Awarded $75,000 for Tree Sourcebook: Best Practices Supporting Conservation Efforts in Puerto Rico.
  • Milagros Hernandez - Awarded $37,130 to Demonstrate and validate aquaponics as a sustainable alternative agricultural system.

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