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October 13, 2015
State Agriculture Commissioner Announces $11.1 Million Awarded for Agricultural Water Quality Conservation Projects
Funding Provided to 22 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts for 29 Agricultural Projects that Protect New York’s Waterways
Program Received Record Number of Applications This Year
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced $11.1 million has been awarded to support 29 agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state, benefiting 116 farms. The funding, provided to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, will help farmers with projects that prevent water pollution, reduce erosion and limit harmful sediments and other nutrients in New York’s waterways. The program received a record number of applications—a total of 99—this year, demonstrating the agricultural community’s growing commitment to environmental stewardship.
Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Our County Soil and Water Conservation Districts are great partners. They have been instrumental in helping our farmers protect our natural resources through environmental planning and implementation of projects that mitigate potential pollutants. Through this round of Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program funding, we have been able to reach almost 120 farms and help their efforts in ensuring the health of New York’s waterways, agribusinesses and communities.”
Through the program, the County Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. Projects awarded receive funding to conduct environmental planning or to implement best management practices such as agricultural waste storage systems, riparian buffer systems, conservation cover crops and structural soil conservation practices.
Nearly 120 farms across the state will benefit from the 29 projects funded:
· Western New York - $1,584,551 for four projects
· Finger Lakes - $2,814,643 for ten projects
· Southern Tier - $2,766,515 for six projects
· North Country - $1,668,511 for three projects
· Mohawk Valley - $1,416,535 for three projects
· Capital Region - $404,590 for one project
· Long Island - $448,309 for two projects
For a complete list of projects awarded, please visit: http://www.nys-soilandwater.org/aem/AgNPS_Round_21_Project.pdf
The New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee and the Department of Agriculture and Markets coordinate the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, providing technical and financial assistance to assist farmers in preventing water pollution from agricultural activities. Funds are provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Since the program began in 1994, more than $100 million has been awarded to 53 Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state to help farmers reduce and prevent agricultural sources pollution.
Chairman of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee Dale Stein said, “Funding provided through the Ag Non-Point Source Program supports the local conservation efforts of farmers across New York State. The continuous support of the Environmental Protection Fund provides our state’s agricultural community with the platform to implement innovative best management practices and protect the state’s natural resources through effective environmental stewardship.”
The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program through its Land and Water Division, which works to protect New York's land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation and proactive environmental stewardship.
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