USA - USDA to Invest $5 Million in the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program Southeast

NRCS is announcing the availability of up to $5 million in Wetland Mitigation Banking Program (WMBP) grant funds for the development and establishment of mitigation banks and banking opportunities solely for agricultural producers with wetlands subject to the wetland conservation compliance provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended).

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is investing up to $5 million in the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program (WMBP). This grant program supports the development of mitigation banks for use by agricultural producers seeking to maintain eligibility for USDA programs. Funds are available to Tribes, state and local government entities, nonprofits and other organizations.

“Our goal is to ensure that agricultural producers have the tools they need to successfully farm or ranch and conserve natural resources,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “This investment will help Tribes, states, local governments and other qualified partners work with producers to restore, create, and enhance wetland ecosystems.”

To participate in most USDA programs, agricultural producers agree to comply with the wetland conservation provisions, which means producers will not farm converted wetlands or convert wetlands to enable agricultural production. In situations where avoidance or on-site mitigation is challenging, the Farm Bill allows for off-site mitigation through the purchase of mitigation banking credits.

WMBP is a competitive grants program accepting proposals from Federally recognized Native American tribal governments, state and local units of government, for-profit entities, nonprofits with or without a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS other than institutions of higher education, private institutions of higher education, and public and State controlled institutions of higher education. Applications will be accepted from eligible entities in any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).

Priority will be given to banks in States with significant numbers of individual wetlands, wetland acres, and conservation compliance requests. Based on NRCS data, these States are Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and States in the Prairie Pothole Region (Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota).

For new users of Grants.gov, see Section D for information about steps required before applying through Grants.gov.

Key Dates

Applicants must submit their applications through Grants.gov by 11:59 pm (EDT) on October 10, 2022. For technical issues with Grants.gov, contact Grants.gov Applicant Support at1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov. Awarding agency staff cannot support applicants regarding Grants.gov accounts.

NRCS is accepting proposals from eligible entities through Grants.gov by Oct. 10, 2022.

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