January 16, 2015
Albany

Governor Cuomo Announces $12 Million to Protect and Preserve Water Quality

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $12 million to protect soils and waterways through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. These grants will assist farmers in addressing water quality challenges in priority watersheds throughout the State through adopting a variety of best management practice systems, including nutrient management systems, planting vegetation along streams to intercept runoff, and planting cover crops after the annual harvest to protect the soil.

“This funding will help our state maintain the clean water supply that is vital to the livelihood of all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our State’s agricultural industry has been an economic success story over the past few years, and with our support we hope it will continue to expand and create jobs for years to come.”

Grants will be awarded to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and will be administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.

The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control (AgNPS) grant program represents only part of a broader effort to help farmers achieve better water quality and more effective farming systems. The larger effort, called the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) framework and administered through County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, sets water quality and other environmental priorities. The Districts then use the AEM framework to assist interested farmers through several stages of planning and implementation to make science-based and cost-effective decisions. As a result, farmers are able to meet business goals while protecting and conserving the State’s natural resources. Since the program’s inception in 1993, New York State has dedicated nearly $140 million to the AgNPS Program.

George Proios, Chair of the NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee, said, "The State’s 58 Soil and Water Conservation Districts are thankful for the stable state funding for the AgNPS program as well as increased funding each year to the Environmental Protection Fund. This funding provides important resources to local farmers for projects that benefit our state's natural resources.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to agriculture is helping to grow the state’s farm economy every year, creating jobs and enhancing economic development in every corner of New York. Farmers are great stewards of the land they depend on for their livelihoods and every farmer depends on water for their operations. This funding will help protect our waterways for future generations of farmers who will also depend on these resources.”

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, “New York farmers understand the importance of maintaining a healthy environment, and these grants will help them implement key conservation strategies and practices to protect our natural resources. This is another example of smart investments Governor Cuomo is making that benefit New York’s agricultural community and the environment.”

The Round 21 AgNPS Program RFP for County Soil and Water Conservation Districts is available through the Grants Gateway here. All appropriate materials must be submitted through the online gateway system by the deadline of March 31, 2015 for the application to be considered complete.

For additional details about this program and other natural resource protection programs, please contact your local County Soil and Water Conservation District. A complete listing of County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can be found here.

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Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

New York City Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418