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