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USDA-NRCS opens ’21 funding for water projects in Puerto Rico/USVI

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced it has posted a funding notice for its  National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), to farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners interested in improving water quality and aquatic habitats in priority watersheds with impaired streams.

Details of the initiative can be found on the Grants.gov website and is open for applications through Mar. 31, 2021.

Caribbean Area NRCS is targeting three watersheds — the Río Grande de Añasco and Río La Plata in Puerto Rico, and Northwest St. Thomas in the USVI — through the funding notice. 

This funding announcement “is a key component of our strategy to leverage resources with partners to create watershed management plans to help us apply conservation in the Caribbean Area. Our goal is to obtain measurable outcomes that not only impact farmers but also have considerable impact on the communities around them,” the agency said.

“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 Río Fajardo watershed will receive financial assistance from NRCS for practice implementation to address impaired surface waters through a special Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) signup for NWQI funding.

The deadline for this special signup is Mar. 26, 2021. NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round, but applications are ranked and funded by enrollment periods that are set locally, the agency stated.

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

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