SOMERSET, N.J. — New Jersey State Conservationist Carrie Lindig is encouraging potential conservation partners, including private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, conservation districts, watershed associations and universities to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Up to $252 million of RCPP program funding will be available nationally in 2017, the fourth year of the Program administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“The Regional Conservation Partnership Program is already working for New Jersey,” Lindig said. “Since RCPP was established in the 2014 Farm Bill, there are three RCPP projects under way in New Jersey. Last month, the selection of a fourth project, proposed by NJ State Agricultural Development Committee, was announced. Combined, these four projects will add over $6.9 million in federal investment to the matching contributions from the RCPP partners to conserve and protect New Jersey’s natural resources over the five-year life of the partnership agreements. “
RCPP is intended to support locally-driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. Successful applicants are able to earmark funding available through NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and/or Conservation Stewardship Program to advance conservation in their project areas. Applicants must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds.
USDA is accepting proposals for Fiscal Year 2018 RCPP funding through April 21. For more information on applying, visit the national RCPP website (www.nrcs.usda.gov). More on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and projects in New Jersey can be found on the NJ NRCS website (www.nj.nrcs.usda.gov). Questions should be directed to Gail Bartok, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs at Gail.Bartok@nj.usda.gov.
— USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service