We Are Water Foundation
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USDA to invest up to $360 million in partner-driven conservation

  • USDA to invest up to $360 million in partner-driven conservation
  • Application period has opened for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

About the entity

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.
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USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invites potential conservation partners to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will award up to $360 million dollars nationwide to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

This funding announcement introduces a new RCPP Critical Conservation Area (CCA): Northeast Forests and Waters. This CCA’s priority natural resource concerns include water quality; wildlife habitat; and degraded plant condition on farm and forest land. The boundaries of the CCA encompass Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as the Long Island Sound. NRCS requested public comment on the (CCA) and their associated priority resource concerns as part of a review allowed by the Farm Bill once every five years.

“RCPP brings an approach to investing in natural resource conservation that empowers local communities to work with multiple partners and agricultural producers to design solutions that work best for them,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr.

Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this funding announcement. Partners are expected to offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal or greater to the NRCS investment.

Eligible lead partners are encouraged to apply. Funding is open to private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities, among others. The full list of eligible entities is available in the RCPP funding announcement.