USDA Seeks New Partnerships to Safeguard, Restore Wetland Ecosystems
WASHINGTON, October 5, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced up to $30 million is available in technical and financial assistance through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Restored wetlands help improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding, and provide recreational benefits.
“This partnership enhances the locally driven process to better address critical wetland functions that progress beyond localities,” said Kevin Norton, acting Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “WREP works with other NRCS landscape-level conservation efforts to coordinate the delivery of conservation assistance to producers in targeted areas that yield the most impacts for accelerated benefits nationally and regionally. Continuing to leverage these partnerships helps us continue the important work with producers to help recover the health of wetland ecosystems on working lands.”
Eligible conservation partners will work through WREP to voluntarily execute high priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities on eligible agriculture lands. WREP enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing meaningful benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist.
NRCS will review partners’ project proposals and evaluate priority resource concerns, objectives, costs, and expected outcomes for each project and rank proposals based on criteria set forth in the requirements listed on each state’s NRCS website.
Proposals should be emailed to the NRCS state contact listed in the local announcement by November 30, 2020.
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