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Conservation Innovation Grants

Caribbean Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)- A roller-crimper terminates sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI.2019 Caribbean Area CIG Announcement of Program Funding (APF)

Caribbean Area NRCS Director, Edwin Almodóvar, announces the availability of up to $300,000 in FY 2019 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 for projects in 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, 2019). Funds are awarded through a competitive process; the maximum award amount for any project can not exceed $75,000 in FY 2019. The grant proposal submission deadline is May 31, 2019.

The complete 2019 Caribbean Area CIG Request for Applications can be found at Grants.gov, opportunity number USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-19-GEN0010086. Electronic applications must be sent through www.grants.gov. For additional information in Español, participate in our CIG Applicant Information Conference Call from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. April 26, 2019:

  • Call-in number: 1-888-844-9904
  • Passcode: 4498730#

Please visit the 2019 Caribbean Area CIG page for more details.

National On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trial Grants Announced! - NEW!

Newly authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm Trials supports more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches. The Soil Health Demo Trial (SHD) component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. Eligible entities receiving SHD awards agree to follow consistent soil health assessment protocols to evaluate the impacts of practice and system implementation. Learn more about On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials.

Field with Sunn Hemp (Crotolaria juncea) cover crop in flower.

2018 Caribbean Area CIG Awardees

In July 2018, Caribbean Area NRCS awarded $238,515 in FY 2018 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 2018 Caribbean Area CIG awardees are:

  • UPR Agricultural Experiment Station: awarded $74,992 for their project, "Soil Conservation Practices on Steep Lands to Minimize Runoff and Improve Soil Health"
  • Puerto Rico Agricultural Extension Service: awarded $13,530 for their project, "Crotalaria juncea L. for conserved forages: Improving resilience of farmers to withstand natural disasters"
  • Bananera Fabre, Inc: awarded $75,000 for their project, "Economic viability of cover crops in commercial farming for soil and water conservation, Sabana Grande, PR"
  • Protectores de Cuencas: awarded $74,993 for their project, "Control of invasive grass species and forest fire prevention in the Guánica Dry Forest, Puerto Rico"

Test plots for Salt Flat Conservation Buffers CIG project.

2017 Caribbean Area CIG Awardees

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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