Applications for Wetland Mitigation Banking Program Funds Due July 6

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Georgia

Here is a reminder from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that applications for funding through the Wetland Mitigation Program are due July 6. This funding, of up to $5 million, is available to help conservation partners develop or establish mitigation banks to help agricultural producers maintain eligibility for USDA programs.

Wetland mitigation banking is the restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for unavoidable impacts on wetlands at other locations. The Farm Bill’s wetland conservation provisions, commonly called Swampbuster provisions, aim to remove certain incentives to convert wetlands or to produce agricultural commodities on converted wetlands.

Producers seeking benefits through most USDA programs must comply with wetland conservation provisions by affirming they will not impact wetlands on their lands. 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.

This competitive grants program helps states, local governments and other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks to restore, create or enhance wetland ecosystems. NRCS is accepting proposals from eligible Indian Tribes, state and local units of government, for-profit entities and nongovernmental organizations.

Applications must be submitted through by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 6, 2020.