NEW YORK STATE (January 18, 2015) – New York State has provided $12 million to protect soils and waterways through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.
These grants will assist farmers in addressing water quality challenges in priority watersheds throughout the State through adopting a variety of best management practice systems, including nutrient management systems, planting vegetation along streams to intercept runoff, and planting cover crops after the annual harvest to protect the soil.
“This funding will help our state maintain the clean water supply that is vital to the livelihood of all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our State’s agricultural industry has been an economic success story over the past few years, and with our support we hope it will continue to expand and create jobs for years to come.”
Grants will be awarded to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and will be administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control (AgNPS) grant program represents only part of a broader effort to help farmers achieve better water quality and more effective farming systems. The larger effort, called the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) framework and administered through County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, sets water quality and other environmental priorities. The Districts then use the AEM framework to assist interested farmers through several stages of planning and implementation to make science-based and cost-effective decisions. As a result, farmers are able to meet business goals while protecting and conserving the State’s natural resources. Since the program’s inception in 1993, New York State has dedicated nearly $140 million to the AgNPS Program.
State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, “New York farmers understand the importance of maintaining a healthy environment, and these grants will help them implement key conservation strategies and practices to protect our natural resources. This is another example of smart investments Governor Cuomo is making that benefit New York’s agricultural community and the environment.”
The Round 21 AgNPS Program RFP for County Soil and Water Conservation Districts is available through the Grants Gateway here. All appropriate materials must be submitted through the online gateway system by the deadline of March 31, 2014 for the application to be considered complete.
For additional details about this program and other natural resource protection programs, please contact your local County Soil and Water Conservation District. A complete listing of County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can be found here.