Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA is seeking proposals for grants to improve water quality, air quality and promote energy conservation. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is making available $25 million through the Conservation Innovation Grants program to address natural resource concerns nationwide with a special emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin.
Now in its eighth year, the CIG program offers funding dedicated to the adoption of technologies to address a broad range of agricultural issues. For example, the Michigan Department of Agriculture worked with Michigan State University and agricultural landowners to establish conservation practices for high-risk erosion areas, with a goal of reducing sediment and nutrient runoff.
Successful applicants will demonstrate that their projects use innovative, on-the-ground conservation approaches and technologies. Funds will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process with applications being accepted from all 50 States, the Caribbean Area and the Pacific Islands Area. Pre-proposal applications must be received at the NRCS National Headquarters by close of business Dec. 28, 2010.