Kuster Announces $10 million Grant to Fund Connecticut River Watershed
Grant funding is part of the Farm Bill’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which Kuster helped create
Washington, DC, January 16, 2015
Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded part of a $10 million grant through the Farm Bill’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to the Connecticut River Watershed Council and its partners to improve the health of the watershed and ultimately the Long Island Sound. The $10 million grant will be matched dollar-for-dollar by other state, local, and private funding sources for numerous conservation projects throughout New Hampshire and New England, which are part of the Long Island Sound Watershed that includes the Connecticut River watershed.
“The Connecticut River watershed is an integral aspect of the effort to help improve the health of Long Island Sound, and I’m thrilled that the USDA has recognized this with the $10 million grant through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was proud to work across the aisle to help create this important program as part of the Farm Bill, and I know that this grant will help not only the health of Long Island Sound, but also the quality of our water and environment in New Hampshire.”
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program awards funds on a competitive basis to conservation projects that are designed by local partners for specific conservation purposes in their region. Partners can include non-profit organizations, local governments, private companies, and universities, and the partners must match the grant funding dollar-for-dollar. RCPP conservation projects are designed to support conservation goals and create jobs in local communities. As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Congresswoman Kuster supported the creation of the RCPP as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The $10 million grant for the Long Island Sound Watershed, which includes the Connecticut River Watershed, will be shared by partners in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. The project will work with farmers and communities to improve soil health, reduce an excess of nutrients in the rivers and the Sound that is destroying habitat, and conserve land for wildlife habitat and recreation. The Connecticut River, which contributes over 70% of the fresh water to the Long Island Sound, will play an important role in this process.
Congresswoman Annie Kuster has long fought for initiatives to help protect our environment and create jobs for the New Hampshire economy. She has supported a number of conservation programs through the bipartisan Farm Bill she helped pass into law last year, supported additional funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and is working to support the renewable energy economy as part of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).