The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia wants to pass along this reminder. They are investing in fiscal 2023 to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). NRCS is prioritizing proposals that support efforts to mitigate climate change by restoring wetlands while also prioritizing assistance to underserved communities. But, proposals are due by Sept. 23, 2022.
“Restoring and protecting wetlands can improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat and help address climate change. Partnerships are absolutely essential to this work,” said Terrance O. Rudolph, NRCS State Conservationist in Georgia. “Our partners can help connect us with historically underserved communities here in Georgia and across the country, and these projects can also expand equity in conservation opportunities.”
Restored wetlands help to improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding and provide recreational benefits. The most sought-after lands for the WREP program are referred to as “marginal,” meaning they do not produce to their full capacity due to repeat flooding or standing water. Removing marginal lands from production can provide economic benefits for agricultural landowners while also restoring the wetlands to accomplish their full functions and values.
Through WREP projects, eligible conservation partners protect, restore and enhance high-priority wetlands on agricultural 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.
This WREP funding is for fiscal year 2023, which begins on Oct. 1, 2022. Partners interested in applying should contact the Georgia NRCS state office for more information.