DAVIS, Calif., May 8, 2012 /PR Newswire/ -- In conjunction with a national water quality initiative, The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will invest $2.5 million in targeted funds to improve water quality in five high priority watersheds in California.
'NRCS California is proud to participate in this national campaign to add on-farm water quality improvements within targeted watersheds,' said Ed Burton, NRCS California state conservationist. 'These additional funds will help landowners to voluntarily address issues related to Clean Water Act compliance and keep their farms and ranches healthy and productive.'
Using funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to install conservation practices that help to stabilize soil and reduce the transport of sediments and other pollutants into public waters. This assistance will help landowners address high priority water resource concerns in small watersheds with streams or water bodies that are impacted by agricultural runoff and under increased regulatory scrutiny.
Applications will be batched and evaluated on May 18 and again on June 15, 2012; those received by the earlier date will have a higher chance of being funded.
Through this effort, eligible farmers and ranchers will partner with NRCS to invest in voluntary conservation actions to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities. The selected watersheds were identified with help from state and federal agencies, and other conservation partners.
The following five watersheds are eligible for assistance:
- Calleguas Creek: Revlon Slough, Ventura County
- Calleguas Creek: Town of Nyland - Frontal Pacific Ocean, Ventura County
- Big-Navarro-Garcia: Upper Garcia River, Mendocino County
- Big-Navarro-Garcia: Middle Garcia River, Mendocino County
- Lower Eel: Salt River, Humboldt County
This effort helps landowners in eligible watersheds to qualify for financial assistance by competing for targeted funds with a smaller pool of applicants. Typically, NRCS receives a large number of applications for EQIP funding each fiscal year and only about 30 percent of farmers and ranchers are successful.
Eligible farmers and ranchers should visit http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ or contact their local NRCS office for additional information on eligible practices and to submit an application.
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service