Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1.5 million in federal funding for Greater Adirondacks agricultural conservation projects. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and will be used to improve water quality, soil health, and resolve habitat issues in and around the Upper Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, Black River and Lake Champlain Watershed. The award is part of four grants totaling $30.5 million awarded across New York State, aimed at protecting and supporting wildlife and the environment, as well as improving our water quality.
“The Upper Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, Black River and Lake Champlain Watersheds are all critical resources for citizens, farmers and landowners throughout the Adirondack region and the tourists who come from all over the state and country to visit the Adirondacks. These federal funds will go a long way toward ensuring conservation efforts are effective and prepared to handle whatever is on the horizon,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased the USDA has awarded these funds so these Greater Adirondack watersheds can continue to be centers for recreation, tourism and economic development for generations to come.”
“The Upper Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, Black River and Lake Champlain Watershed are natural resources and key economic anchors in upstate New York,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This critical funding is an important step in the right direction as we work to protect these watersheds and improve soil and water quality. I will continue to push for these types of investments that support New York farmers, foresters, and businesses and will work to ensure the Upper Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, Black River and Lake Champlain Watershed remain healthy recreational and economic landmarks for our families.”
Under this new USDA program, resources will be provided to farmers, non-industrial forest land owners, and producers for conservation planning and education. The main goal of the program is to reduce sediment and bacterial loading into surface waters and recover habitat within selected areas.
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners to provide federal assistance to farmers and landowners. Regions must apply in order to be eligible partners in the program and access federal funding. The program was authorized under the most recent Farm Bill.