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USDA-NRCS has up to $150K for watershed projects in PR/USVI

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that it has up to $150,000 in funding available for watershed assessments in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

In separate notices, the agency opened the application cycle through May 25, 2022, for priority projects on the islands, specifically related to the Río Grande in Añasco, Río La Plata, and Río Gurabo in Puerto Rico, or for the Northwest St. Thomas Watershed.

This funding comes through the National Water Quality Initiative and is part of the agency’s goal to leverage resources with partners to create watershed management plans to help it apply conservation in the Caribbean Area.

The agency seeks to obtain measurable outcomes that not only impact farmers but also have considerable impact on the communities around them, it noted.

“We see positive impacts when we partner with producers to deliver conservation practices to critical watersheds,” said Luis Cruz-Arroyo, NRCS Caribbean area director.

“These focused partnerships allow us to maximize the delivery of our conservation efforts and achieve greater improvements to water quality, which benefits participating producers, the public, and our islands’ natural resources,” he said.

The National Water Quality Initiative was initiated in 2012 to address agricultural contributions to surface waters impaired by nutrients, sediment, and pathogens.

NWQI is a partnership between NRCS, state water-quality agencies in the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA, in Spanish) and the USVI’s Department of Planning & Natural Resources, and the US Environmental Protection Agency to identify and address impaired surface water bodies through voluntary conservation.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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