The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced last week that the agency will award $13 million to projects in seven states to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands.
The projects are being funded under the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP).
“These locally-led partnerships are instrumental in achieving greater wetland acreage and maximizing their benefits to farmers, ranchers and the local and rural communities where wetlands exist,” NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan said.
Wetland reserve easements enable landowners to successfully reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater, enhance and protect wildlife habitat and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.
WREP project partners are investing nearly $2 million in these projects, bringing the total investment to approximately $15 million. In total, the projects will help to protect, restore or enhance over 25,000 acres of wetlands in critical watersheds across the nation.
These partners work directly with eligible landowners interested in enrolling their agricultural land into conservation wetland easements, said USDA.
This announcement includes high-priority watershed projects in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.