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Conservation Innovation Grants

Caribbean Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)- A roller-crimper terminates sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI.National Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving solutions that boost production on farms, ranches and private forests and improve natural resources. CIG is a competitive grants program that supports development, testing and research of conservation technologies, practices, systems and approaches on private lands. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one. All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. Active funding announcement information is available on the national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) webpage.

2022 Caribbean Area CIG

NRCS Caribbean Area announced the availability of up to $500,000 in FY 2022 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding for the Caribbean Area to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. 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, 2022). Funds are awarded through a competitive process; the maximum award amount for any project may not exceed $100,000 in FY 2022. The grant proposal submission deadline closed May 29, 2022.

The complete 2022 Caribbean Area CIG Request for Applications was posted on Grants.gov, opportunity number USDA-NRCS-PR-CIG-22-NOFO0001205. Electronic applications had to be sent through www.grants.gov. Additional information was provided in our CIG Applicant Information Conference Call held from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. April 27, 2022. Please visit the 2022 Caribbean Area CIG NFO web page for more details.

Shaded coffee farm in Maricao, PR.

2022 Caribbean Area CIG Awardees - NEW!

In July 2022, Caribbean Area NRCS awarded $174,949 in FY 2022 State Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) to 2 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 2022 Caribbean Area CIG awardees are:

  • Dr. Jesyka Meléndez for the project, "Restoring Impacted Soils via Regenerative Agriculture in Rural Puerto Rico: A Market-Scale Demonstration Farm" ($99,949).
  • Félix Rivera Montalvo for the project, "Ecosystem Services Validation of a Multispecies Canopy Coffee Agroforestry System" ($75,000).

Previous Years' CIG Awardees

National On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trial & Soil Health Demonstration Grants - NEW!

Through CIG, partners work to address our nation’s water quality, water quantity, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations. The On-Farm Trials component of CIG supports widespread adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. This year’s funding priorities are climate-smart agricultural solutions, irrigation water management, nutrient management and soil health. Learn more about On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials.

2020 Caribbean Area CIG On-Farm Trials Awardees

Two of 2020's 14 awarded On-Farm Trials projects involved projects in Puerto Rico:

  • $1,983,479 to the University of Hawaii for Soil Health Demonstration Trials in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. The University of Hawaii will establish a network of on-farm Soil Health Management Systems demonstrations that are individually tailored, regionally adapted, and managed by farmers, in collaboration with participating farms in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and three Hawaiian islands.  The project emphasizes engagement with historically underserved Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic farmers and restorative efforts on degraded or abandoned agricultural lands in rural communities.
  • $995,991 to Ridge to Reefs, Inc. for Management Technologies and Strategies in Puerto Rico. This project brings together a coalition of organizations representing academia, public, private, and non-governmental sectors in Puerto Rico to help farmers implement improved Regenerative Production Systems consisting of a suite of Enhanced Management Practices. Both small- to medium- scale farms will implement practices focused on their specific resource concerns and production goals.

Learn about this innovative program and the awarded projects.

For More Information

Plantains with a Canavalia ensiformis cover crop.

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