NYS Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement & Control Grant Program

Photo: Barb Silvestri, NYSSWCC


This grant program was established in 1994 by the State of New York to assist farmers in preventing water pollution from agricultural activities by providing technical assistance and financial incentives. County Soil & Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers and coordinate funded conservation projects. Grants can cost-share up to 75% of project costs or more if farmers contribute in the following two areas:

  1. Planning- funds awarded to conduct environmental planning
  2. Implementation- funds awarded to construct or apply management practices

The New York State Soil & Water Conservation Committee and the Department of Agriculture & Markets coordinate the statewide program and allocate funds provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund on a semi-annual basis. Since the program began in 1994 more than $153 million has been awarded to Soil & Water Conservation Districts across the state to help farmers reduce and prevent agricultural sources pollution.

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?

The primary cause of New York’s remaining water quality challenges can be attributed to a wide array of pollutants resulting from various types of land uses, which is termed nonpoint source (NPS) pollution.

As rainfall or snowmelt moves over and through the ground, the runoff picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants include:

  • Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from residential areas and agricultural lands
  • Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
  • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
  • Salt from roadways, irrigation practices, and acid drainage from abandoned mines
  • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems
  • Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification
SWCDs apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers and coordinate funded activities. Photo: Barb Silvestri, NYSSWCC

Resources for Districts

All resources pertaining to the Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Abatement and Control can be found on the Soil and Water Conservation Committee Sharepoint Site.

Agricultural Best Management Practice Catalogue


Installing best management practices such as this alternative water source in a rotational grazing system are eligible for cost-share assistance. Photo: USDA-NRCS

Outreach Materials

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Manure Storage in New York State.


AEM helps manage livestock holding areas in ways that minimize contamination of surface and groundwater resources. Photo: USDA-NRCS


Bethany Bzduch, Ag Non-Point Grant Program Manager

SWCC Regional Field Staff

County Soil & Water Conservation Districts

The headwaters of the Susquehanna River begin in New York State, which means that AEM activities are helping to improve waters as far away as the Chesapeake Bay. Photo: USDA-NRCS

More Information

Click here to visit EPA’s NPS Pollution Website