$13.1 million for agricultural water quality in New York
The funding, provided to 25 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, supports projects that allow farmers to address water quality challenges in priority watersheds.
Together, these projects will work to prevent water pollution, reduce erosion and limit the amount of harmful sediments and other deposits in New York’s waterways. Funding for the program was increased in the FY 2017 Budget to $19 million, which will support future projects.
“Ensuring that New York’s waterways remain pristine is essential to the long-term viability of our booming agricultural industry,” Governor Cuomo said.
“This funding will provide farmers with the resources they need to protect our treasured waters and surrounding communities, and foster sound environmental stewardship while supporting more than 120 farms across the state.”
Through the program, 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.
Since the program began in 1994, more than $125 million has been awarded to 53 Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state to help farmers reduce and prevent pollution from agricultural sources. ■