In the Gulf of Mexico watershed, farmers manage millions of acres of privately held working lands. Working farms, ranches, and forests provide food, fuel, and fiber for the world, but activities can affect water quality locally and across multi-state watersheds. Implementation of soil and water conservation practices can help reduce runoff and nonpoint source pollution.
NACD will award up to $2.7 million in grants for outreach to Native American and historically underserved producers, as well as on the ground projects that mitigate hypoxic conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Projects must be located within the Non-Mississippi River Drainage Region which consists of TX, MS, AL, and portions of FL, GA, NM, and CO.
Applications must be submitted by an eligible entity. This includes conservation districts, their respective state associations or state agencies, Resource Conservation & Development Councils, Indian Tribal Governments, and intertribal consortia.
The strength and diversity of collaborations will be evaluated and local partnerships are strongly encouraged. Interested parties are encouraged to develop projects with their local conservation district or another eligible entity. Please contact Chloe Hundelt, NACD Grants Specialist here, if you are interested in participating and need help identifying your local conservation district or if you have any additional questions.
NACD is one of four partners working with the EPA to achieve its goals of reducing nonpoint source pollution in the Gulf of Mexico through cost-effective and sustainable farming practices. Please see the list of counties below to determine if a location is eligible under these geographic parameters.
The objectives of this program are to:
- Work directly with Native American and/or historically underserved producers on novel or innovative techniques, methods, or approaches that reduce non-point source pollution and increase the sustainability and resiliency of their operations;
- Leverage partnerships to increase knowledge sharing and collaboration within and among historically underserved communities;
- Collect and analyze data to demonstrates the results of funded projects;
- Disseminate results to the community to inform future conservation or management practices and expand adoption of the most cost-effective and sustainable approaches.
Projects must include at least one of the following types of activities:
- Water quality initiatives such as nutrient reduction with creative runoff treatment solutions; innovative year-round ground cover to limit erosion; planting field buffers; conservation tillage; managing livestock access to streams; address key manure nutrient management issues (e.g., phosphorus saturation in soil, ammonia emissions, alternative uses for manure nutrients); increase the implementation of nitrogen-use efficiency tools to better manage inorganic nitrogen inputs on cropland.
- Habitat restoration initiatives such as riparian zone improvement; observing environmental windows; restoration or protection of wildlife corridors; partner easements; landowner habitat planting/restoration; other innovative habitat ideas; conservation and restoration of perennially flooded grasslands and forests.
- Sustainable forest management initiatives such as utilizing sustainable forestry practices that protect and maintain water quality and habitat; improving utilization of sustainable forestry practices through training, education, and public outreach; and monitoring effectiveness of sustainable practices.
This grant program is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Division (GMD). The GMD protects, maintains, and restores the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the Region. It is committed to voluntary, non-regulatory solutions and actions based on sound scientific and technical information.