The Department of Agriculture is investing $28 million in six new Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership projects and four ongoing projects. Announced Monday, the investment enables conservation partners and producers to work together to return critical wetland functions to agricultural landscapes. Partners will contribute $2.82 million, bringing the total investments to $30.82 million.
Terry Cosby, acting Chief for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, says, “Wetlands have tremendous benefits ranging from cleaner water to flood prevention, to enhancing wildlife habitat to sequestering carbon.” Since 2014, similar projects across 11 states have resulted in 136 closed wetland easements and wetland easements pending closure, protecting more than 27,400 acres. In total, NRCS has supported landowners in protecting more than 2.85 million acres through wetland easement programs nationwide. The balance of the $28 million initial NRCS investment after the projects are funded is $14.7 million, which provides funding for four projects now in their second year.