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USDA Announces $100 Million Conservation Investment for the Northern Everglades Watershed

On a sunny day last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced $100 million in financial assistance to boost wetlands restoration in the Northern Everglades watershed. With the announcement, USDA aims to purchase the development rights on as much as 24,000 acres of private land in four Florida counties, and restore the land in cooperation with the owners. The end result: less surface water leaving the land, slower water runoff, and reduced concentrations of nutrients entering the public water system. That’s better water quality, greater quantity, and improved economic opportunities for millions of Floridians. Secretary Vilsack spoke about how private landowners play a critical role in protecting wetlands and enhancing wildlife in this unique habitat. The partnership with farmers and ranchers will also empower community-led conservation efforts and use of science-based management practices to restore and protect lands and waters for future generations.

The ceremony marked a major commitment to the Everglades by the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

The funding supports the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting private lands through its America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Working with conservation partners and others, USDA helps communities find local solutions to natural resource issues such as protecting a large-scale ecosystem like the Northern Everglades.

To watch the ceremony, held at Winding Waters Natural Area, check out the video below!

2 Responses to “USDA Announces $100 Million Conservation Investment for the Northern Everglades Watershed”

  1. JSW says:

    Dear Secretary Vilsack.
    2nd try
    My family has put up 750 acres of unspoiled pasture land for inclusion in the WRP program. We were given an offer and accepted. Then about 10 days later it was rescinded due to lack of funding. Apparently my 750 acres of the 24000 acres diid not make the cut. For now they are deferring me to next year. Who knows what next year will bring or if it will be available. I understand that funds may be available from other states if they don’t use them.
    Is there anything you can do to get my project funded?
    Check the property out on google and you will see that it is ideal for the WRP.

  2. JSW says:

    I failed to include that the property is in the Everglades Agricultural Area with predominant hydric soils and many pond over the ranch making it a perfect fit for the WRP.

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