FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service
300 Ala Moana Blvd., #4-118, Honolulu, HI 96850
USDA Announces Fiscal Year 2011 Sign-up for $300,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants
Honolulu, March 22, 2011-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Director Larry Yamamoto today announced the availability of program funding for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for fiscal year (FY) 2011 in the Pacific Islands Area. The CIG program is designed to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies.
“The Pacific Islands Area is again offering our cooperators the opportunity to demonstrate new technologies and approaches in conservation,” stated Larry Yamamoto, NRCS Director of the Pacific Islands Area. “This grant allows us to showcase unique methods to conserve our natural resources specific to our islands,” he continued.
The Department of Agriculture’s NRCS administers CIG. For FY 2011 up to $300,000 is available for the State Component CIG competition. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, will be awarded through a competitive grants process with applications accepted from the Pacific Islands Area (Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).
Applicants should explain the geographic area that the project would benefit including information about the natural resource concern. Applicants should also describe the innovative technologies or approaches which will be used to address the natural resource conservation concern. Other requirements are identified in the Announcement of Program Funding.
Funding for CIG is made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). All proposed CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers. CIG funds that are used to provide direct or indirect payments to individuals or entities to implement structural, vegetative or management practices are subject to the EQIP payment limitation. CIG is not a research program, but rather a tool to stimulate the adoption of conservation approaches or technologies that have been studied sufficiently to indicate a high likelihood of success, and are likely candidates for eventual technology transfer.
CIG will fund projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. Technologies and approaches that are commonly used in the geographic area covered by the application, and which are eligible for funding through EQIP, are not eligible for funding through CIG. Proposed projects must conform to the description of innovative conservation projects or activities published in the Announcement of Program Funding.
CIG funds pilot projects and conservation field trials that can last from one to three years. Grants for approved projects cannot exceed 50 percent of the total project cost. The federal contribution for a single project cannot exceed $75,000. At least 50 percent of the total cost of the project must come from non-Federal matching funds (cash and in-kind contributions) provided by the grantee. While NRCS will provide technical oversight for each project receiving an award, the grantee is responsible for providing the technical assistance required to successfully complete the project.
Applications must be received in the NRCS Honolulu State Office by close of business May 20, 2011. Applications should be sent to: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Conservation Innovation Grants Program; ATTN: Jeff Harlow; 300 Ala Moana Blvd, Ste 4-118 Honolulu, HI 96850. To view the complete Announcement of Program Funding, visit http://www.pia.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/index.html.
To find the office nearest you, visit www.pia.nrcs.usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.