USDA Awards Funds to Help Farmers in Chesapeake Bay Implement Practices to Improve DelMarVa Water Quality and Habitat

20th Jan 2015 4R Consistent,4R's in the Media,Northeast,

(EASTON, MD) — The Nature
Conservancy, in partnership with the Delaware Maryland Agribusiness
Association, is pleased to announce that funding will be provided through the
USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to implement
conservation practices that support local farm operations and make improvements
to water quality and wildlife habitat across the Delmarva Peninsula.

The effort, co-led by the two
groups and called the Delmarva Conservation Partnership, is a unique
collaboration that brings together conservation organizations, agribusinesses,
government agencies, and the scientific community to identify and collectively promote
practices that make sense for farmers and the environment. Together, the
public-private partnership will bring more than $10 million in private and
public funding to help farmers implement these practices.

“The Delmarva Conservation
is truly a new and innovative approach to restoring water
quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its many rivers and streams,” said Amy
Jacobs, Watershed Restoration Director for the Nature Conservancy. “The
collaborative effort will focus on cost-effective practices with the goal of
improving water quality and habitat, while also sustaining a thriving
agricultural community in one of the most important regions of the Chesapeake.” 

The program will target
conservation practices where they will achieve the greatest outcomes by
avoiding and trapping pollution, which not only helps local waterways and the
Bay, but also can improve farm profitability. 

Advanced nutrient management to
avoid losing excess nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from fields will be
fostered under The Fertilizer Institute’s “4R” program, which promotes applying
nutrients for crops in the right place at the right time with the right method
and at the right rate. Targeted wetland restoration will then be used to trap
pollution downstream, which also provides benefits such as flood storage and
wildlife habitat. 

“We are excited about the
opportunity to expand the network of farmers who will be implementing 4R
Nutrient Stewardship practices,” said Lindsay Dodd, Policy Director for DMAA.
“This project will provide farmers with the tools they need to improve
fertilizer efficiency by applying nutrients in a way that maximizes crop
productivity and protects the Bay from excess nutrients – that’s real

The RCPP was authorized by the
2014 Farm Bill and is administered through the US Department of Agriculture’s
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). RCPP promotes coordination
between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers
and landowners.

The Nature Conservancy
is the leading
organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which
all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have
protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on
the Web at