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USDA Seeks New Illinois Partnerships to Safeguard, Restore Wetlands
Illinois Ag Connection - 07/30/2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $17 million for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is prioritizing proposals that focus on assisting historically underserved producers conserving wetlands. Proposals from partners are due Aug. 15.

Restored wetlands help to improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding and provide recreational benefits.

"Our goal is to support agricultural producers in their efforts to conserve natural resources on their land," said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. "Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnerships help partners and producers work together to protect wetland ecosystems on working lands."

Through WREP projects, eligible conservation partners protect, restore and enhance high-priority wetlands on agriculture lands. WREP enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing meaningful benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist.

Eligible partners include Tribes, state and local governments and non-government organizations. WREP partners are required to contribute a financial or technical assistance fund match.

WREP funding is for fiscal year 2022, which begins on Oct. 1.

Partners interested in applying should contact their NRCS state office for more information. Proposals are due by Aug. 15.


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