USDA Awards $30 Million for Wetland Enhancement Projects
October 16, 2015
On October 15, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced six awards totaling $30 million through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP).
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized WREP as an enrollment option under the Wetland Reserve Easement component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers WREP.
Through WREP, NRCS partners with states, non-governmental organizations, or Indian Tribes to protect, restore, and enhance high priority wetlands. These partners will help landowners enroll eligible agricultural land into easements, protecting important wetlands and improving wildlife habitat.
The six WREP projects awarded in fiscal year (FY) 2015 include:
- Iowa — Acquire and restore prairie pothole wetlands and associated tallgrass prairie uplands within Prairie Pothole Joint Venture Priority Areas and Ducks Unlimited Living Lakes Initiative Emphasis Areas, $3 million
- Kentucky — Acquire and restore wetlands in high priority small watersheds, $9.4 million
- Mississippi — Acquire and restore Mississippi River Basin wetlands, $5.1 million
- Missouri — Improve 10,000 acres of wet prairie habitats, $2.4 million
- Nebraska — Acquire and restore Nebraska’s playa wetlands and mixed-grass prairie buffers, $1.7 million
- Tennessee — Acquire and restore wetlands in a Hypoxia Task Force priority watershed of the lower Mississippi River, including Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, $8.4 million
Stay tuned for more information about the broader ACEP sign up for FY 2015.
Conservation, Energy & Environment, Grants and Programs