District cost-share funding

The St. Johns River Water Management District offers several cost-sharing programs throughout the year for projects that assist in creating sustainable water resources, provide flood protection and enhance conservation efforts. Funding may be available for local governments, agricultural interests and other entities.

In general, projects considered for funding shall benefit one or more of the four district core mission areas, including:

Reclaimed water, typically indicated by purple pipes, offers significant potential as an alternative water supply.

Water supply

Projects might include water conservation, alternative water supply development or water resource development.

10-water-quality-large

Water quality

Projects might include water quality/nutrient-loading reduction.

07-restoration-south-large

Natural systems restoration

Projects should show measurable resource benefits to streams, lakes, wetlands, springs or aquifers.

The Upper St. Johns River Basin Project is semi-structural. Water control structures at Canal 54 channel water near the Stick Marsh.

Flood protection

Projects should address flood protection issues on an intermediate or regional scale.

The next cycle of the district’s general cost-share program opens in January 2018 instead of March. Applications will be due in mid-February. Please check back for additional information.

Help available to identify water system failures needed for grant applications

Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities are eligible for funding for operation and maintenance activities and local flood protection projects for the district’s cost-share funding program. Often, the first step in developing an application that properly addresses operation and/or maintenance shortcomings of water and wastewater systems is to identify and quantify system failures and resulting needs. The Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) is one resource available to assist with system assessments.

FRWA provides technical assistance to water and wastewater systems operators across Florida. FRWA helps water and wastewater utilities to stay in compliance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the water management districts. FRWA will help train water utilities employees to perform water audits using a water audit spreadsheet.

Learn more about FRWA http://www.frwa.net/ or contact:

Main telephone:
800-872-8207
850-668-2746

Tom Gustafson — Management — Financial Circuit Rider — Central and South Florida
tom.gustafson@frwa.net

Fred Handy — DEP State Circuit Rider — Northeast DEP Circuit Rider
fred.handy@frwa.net

David Hanna — DEP State Circuit Rider — DEP Central District
david.hanna@frwa.net

Districtwide Cost-share Funding, FY 2017–2018

The St. Johns River Water Management District (district) accepted applications for cost-share funding for projects that benefit the district’s core missions through April 13, 2017.

Funding available
  • The Governing Board is anticipated to provide up to $25 million in funding for fiscal year 2017–2018.
  • Projects are eligible for a maximum district cost-share of 10 percent of the total available funds, or a maximum of $2.5 million per project and per applicant (based on $25 million in funding).
  • Funding is limited exclusively to construction-related costs.
  • Projects may span a maximum of two years but must start by June 30, 2018.
  • Projects that are permitted and ready to begin construction will receive a higher score during the review process.
  • The district will fund up to 33 percent of the construction costs for selected alternative water supply, water quality, flood protection, and natural systems projects and up to 50 percent for water conservation projects.
  • REDI communities can submit a waiver of matching funds letter.

Disclaimer: The district reserves the right to recommend projects for funding that best meet the strategic needs of the district and water resources at the time of procurement.

Application Deadline

April 13, 2017

Contacts
  • Dale Jenkins:
    Phone: 386-312-2304
    Email: drjenkins@sjrwmd.com
  • Mark Brandenburg:
    Phone: 407-659-4806
    Email: mbrandenburg@sjrwmd.com
Procurement Schedule

The following schedule is provided with key dates.

Action DateEventStatus
March 15, 2017FY2017 Cost-share begins Complete
March 16, 2017Workshop — Palatka (District Headquarters)
2 p.m. — Webinar available
Workshop presentation
Complete
March 15–
April 13, 2017
Application preparation and applicant meetings with bureau staffComplete
April 13, 2017Applications due at 5 p.m.Complete
April 14–
May 10, 2017
Staff evaluation and ranking of applications Complete
June 13, 2017Staff recommendation to Governing Board: consider approval of cost-share projects for funding Complete

Applicants were encouraged to arrange time with district staff to review potential projects between March 15 and April 13, 2017.

Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI)
and Innovative Projects Cost-Share Funding, FY 2018

The St. Johns River Water Management District accepted applications from Sept. 15 to Oct. 19, 2017, for cost-share funding for designated Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities projects or innovative projects.

In general, a REDI community is economically disadvantaged with an employment base dominated by traditional agriculture or resource-based industries and a population of 25,000 or less. REDI communities may also be unincorporated federal enterprise communities, or an incorporated rural city that is not located in a designated rural county. As of July 28, 2017, the following are REDI-designated communities: the following counties (and all municipalities within) — Baker, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and Okeechobee, and the following communities: Astatula, Fellsmere, Hastings, Hawthorne, Mascotte, Pierson and Umatilla. Projects considered for funding shall benefit one or more of the four district core mission areas.

An innovative project in Florida that will be considered for this funding opportunity is one that uses emerging or proven technology in a unique way to provide alternative water supply quantities or to expand available quantities to offset groundwater withdrawal, or to otherwise improve the water resources of the district in support of the core missions. Examples of innovative technologies include, but are not limited to: indirect or direct potable reuse, rainwater harvesting for residential or commercial uses, and stormwater harvesting for aquifer recharge benefits.

Disclaimer: The district will select projects that it determines provide the most beneficial water resource results.

Contacts
  • Dale Jenkins:
    Phone: 386-312-2304
    Email: drjenkins@sjrwmd.com
  • Mark Brandenburg:
    Phone: 407-659-4806
    Email: mbrandenburg@sjrwmd.com
District Core Mission Areas
  • Water Supply:
    • Water conservation that prevents and reduces wasteful or unreasonable uses of water to improve efficiency of use and to avoid using water for either unnecessary purposes or purposes that can be achieved reasonably without the use of water.
    • Alternative water supply development that replaces existing or planned groundwater use with other sources such as reclaimed water, surface water and seawater.
    • Maintaining and enhancing existing water supply distribution systems (REDI communities exclusively)
    • Water resource development that increases the source of water available, such as providing storage of wet weather flows for potential use during dry periods.
  • Water Quality:
    • Water quality/nutrient-loading reduction: Nutrient reduction projects can include reduction or elimination of domestic wastewater discharges, removal of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems and connection to central sewer, stormwater storage and infrastructure modification, sediment reduction facilities and retrofits.
  • Natural Systems Restoration:
    • Measurable resource benefits to streams, lakes, wetlands, springs and aquifers.
  • Flood Protection:
    • Address flood protection issues on a local (REDI communities exclusively), intermediate or regional scale.
Funding available
  • The Governing Board approved up to $3.6 million in funding for fiscal year 2017-2018.
Procurement schedule

The following schedule is provided with key dates.

Action DateEventStatus
Sept. 15, 2017Advertise on websiteCompleted
Sept. 15 – Oct. 19, 2017Application preparation and applicant meetings with bureau staffCompleted
Oct. 19 – Nov. 7, 2017Staff evaluation and ranking of applications
Dec. 12, 2017Staff recommendation to Governing Board: consider approval of REDI / Innovative projects for funding

During the application submittal period, applicants are encouraged to arrange time with district staff to review potential projects.

Districtwide Cost-share Funding, FY 2016–2017

The St. Johns River Water Management District accepted applications until April 22, 2016, for cost-share funding for projects that benefit the district’s core missions, including:

Funding available
  • The Governing Board is providing up to $25 million in funding for fiscal year 2016–2017.
  • Projects are eligible for a maximum district cost-share of 10 percent of the total available funds, or a maximum of $2.5 million per project and per applicant (based on $25 million in funding).
  • Projects may span a maximum of two years but must start by June 30, 2017.
  • Projects that are permitted and ready to begin construction will receive a higher score during the review process.
  • The district will fund up to 33 percent of the construction costs for selected alternative water supply, water quality, flood protection, and natural systems projects and up to 50 percent for water conservation projects.
  • REDI communities can submit a waiver of matching funds letter.

Disclaimer: The district reserves the right to recommend projects for funding that best meet the strategic needs of the district and water resources at the time of procurement.

Application Deadline
  • Complete applications were received between March 14 and April 22 by 5 p.m. to funding@sjrwmd.com.
  • Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding.
Contacts
  • Dale Jenkins:
    Phone: 386-312-2304
    Email: drjenkins@sjrwmd.com
  • Mark Brandenburg:
    Phone: 407-659-4806
    Email: mbrandenburg@sjrwmd.com
Procurement Schedule

The following schedule is provided with key dates.

Action DateEventStatus
March 11, 2016Advertise on websiteComplete
March 22, 2016Workshop — Palatka (District Headquarters)
11 a.m. • Webinar available
Complete
March 24, 2016Workshop — Maitland Service Center
11 a.m. • Webinar available
Complete
March 30, 2016Workshop — Palm Bay Service Center
10 a.m. • Webinar available
Complete
March 14 – April 21, 2016Application preparation and applicant meetings with Bureau staffComplete
April 22, 2016Applications due at 5 p.m.Complete
April 22 – May 13, 2016Staff evaluation and ranking of applicationsComplete
June 14, 2016Staff recommendation to Governing Board: consider approval of cost-share projects for funding

Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and Innovative Projects Cost-Share Funding, FY 2017

The St. Johns River Water Management District accepted applications from Sept. 16 to Oct. 13, 2016, for cost-share funding for designated Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities projects or innovative projects.

In general, a REDI community is economically disadvantaged with an employment base dominated by traditional agriculture or resource-based industries and a population of 25,000 or less. REDI communities may also be unincorporated federal enterprise communities, or an incorporated rural city that is not located in a designated rural county. As of March 1, 2016, the following are REDI-designated communities: the following counties (and all municipalities within) — Baker, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and Okeechobee, and the following communities: Bunnell, Callahan, Crescent City, Fellsmere, Fernandina Beach, Flagler Beach, Glen St. Mary, Hastings, Hawthorne, Hilliard, Macclenny, Palatka, Interlachen, Palm Coast, Pomona Park, Umatilla, and Welaka. Projects considered for funding shall benefit one or more of the four district core mission areas.

An innovative project in Florida that will be considered for this funding opportunity is one that uses emerging or proven technology in a unique way to provide alternative water supply quantities or to expand available quantities to offset groundwater withdrawal, or to otherwise improve the water resources of the district in support of the core missions. Examples of innovative technologies include, but are not limited to: indirect or direct potable reuse, rainwater harvesting for residential or commercial uses, and stormwater harvesting for aquifer recharge benefits.

Disclaimer: The district will select projects that it determines provide the most beneficial water resource results.

District Core Mission Areas
  • Water Supply:
    • Water conservation that prevents and reduces wasteful or unreasonable uses of water to improve efficiency of use and to avoid using water for either unnecessary purposes or purposes that can be achieved reasonably without the use of water.
    • Alternative water supply development that replaces existing or planned groundwater use with other sources such as reclaimed water, surface water and seawater.
    • Maintaining and enhancing existing water supply distribution systems (REDI communities exclusively)
    • Water resource development that increases the source of water available, such as providing storage of wet weather flows for potential use during dry periods.
  • Water Quality:
    • Water quality/nutrient-loading reduction: Nutrient reduction projects can include reduction or elimination of domestic wastewater discharges, removal of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems and connection to central sewer, stormwater storage and infrastructure modification, sediment reduction facilities and retrofits.
  • Natural Systems Restoration:
    • Measurable resource benefits to streams, lakes, wetlands, springs and aquifers.
  • Flood Protection:
    • Address flood protection issues on a local (REDI communities exclusively), intermediate or regional scale.
Funding available
  • The district is providing $5 million in funding for fiscal year 2016–2017.
Procurement Schedule

The following schedule is provided with key dates.

Action DateEventStatus
Sept. 16, 2016Advertise on websiteCompleted
Sept. 20, 2016
10 a.m.
Informational Meeting
Palatka (District Headquarters)

Webinar registration link
(for those who cannot attend in person)

Completed
Sept. 21, 2016
10 a.m.
Informational Meeting
Maitland Service Center

Webinar registration link
(for those who cannot attend in person)

Completed
Sept. 22, 2016
10 a.m.
Informational Meeting
Palm Bay Service Center

Webinar registration link
(for those who cannot attend in person)

Completed
Sept. 14 – Oct. 13, 2016Application preparation and applicant meetings with Bureau staffCompleted
Oct. 14 – Nov. 8, 2016Staff evaluation and ranking of applicationsCompleted
Dec. 13, 2016Staff recommendation to Governing Board: consider approval of REDI / Innovative projects for fundingCompleted

During the application submittal period, applicants are encouraged to arrange time with district staff to review potential projects.

Cost-share funding, FY 2015–2016

The St. Johns River Water Management District accepted applications until March 13, 2015, for cost-share funding for water conserva­tion and construction projects that will contribute to any of the following:

  • Water conservation that reduces water demands by:
    • Increasing irrigation efficiency for both crops and landscapes, including soil moisture sensors, rain sensors and irrigation head upgrades
    • Automating the tracking of customer water use by water utilities to enhance water conservation measures and educate water users about their water use and conservation measures and benefits
    • Installation of high-efficiency indoor plumbing retrofits, automatic line flushing devices or hydrant flushing devices, and pre-rinse spray valves
    • The district encourage industrial, commercial, agricultural and institutional water users, as well as homeowner and condominium associations, to apply for funding.
  • Alternative water supply development that replaces existing or planned groundwater use with other sources such as reclaimed water, surface water and seawater
  • Water quality/nutrient-loading reduction in springsheds and other water bodies with adopted nutrient total maximum daily load requirements including: the middle and lower St. Johns River, the Indian River Lagoon and Northern Coastal Basins waterways. Nutrient reduction projects can include reduction or elimination of domestic wastewater discharges, removal of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems and connection to central sewer, stormwater storage and infrastructure modification, sediment reduction facilities and retrofits.
  • Water resource development that increases the source of water available, such as providing storage of wet weather flows for potential use during dry periods.

Disclaimer: Funding is contingent upon the district Governing Board’s final budget approval in September 2015.

Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and Innovative Projects Cost-Share Funding, FY 2016

The St. Johns River Water Management District accepted applications from November 3 to December 17, 2015, for cost-share funding for designated Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities projects or innovative projects.

In general, a REDI community is economically disadvantaged with an employment base dominated by traditional agriculture or resource-based industries and a population of 25,000 or less. REDI communities may also be unincorporated federal enterprise communities, or an incorporated rural city that is not located in a designated rural county. Projects considered for funding shall benefit one or more of the four district core mission areas. As of September 1, 2015, the following are REDI-designated communities: the following counties (and all municipalities within) — Baker, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and Okeechobee, and the following communities: Bunnell, Callahan, Crescent City, Fellsmere, Fernandina Beach, Flagler Beach, Glen St. Mary, Hawthorne, Hilliard, Macclenny, Palatka, Interlachen, Palm Coast, Pomona Park, and Welaka.

An innovative project in Florida that will be considered for this funding opportunity is one that uses emerging or proven technology in a unique way to provide alternative water supply quantities or to expand available quantities to offset groundwater withdrawal, or to otherwise improve the water resources of the district in support of the core missions. Examples of innovative technologies include, but are not limited to: indirect or direct potable reuse, rainwater harvesting for residential or commercial uses, and stormwater harvesting for aquifer recharge benefits.

District Core Mission Areas
  • Water Supply:
    • Water conservation that prevents and reduces wasteful or unreasonable uses of water to improve efficiency of use and to avoid using water for either unnecessary purposes or purposes that can be achieved reasonably without the use of water.
    • Alternative water supply development that replaces existing or planned groundwater use with other sources such as reclaimed water, surface water and seawater.
    • Maintaining and enhancing existing water supply distribution systems (REDI communities exclusively)
    • Water resource development that increases the source of water available, such as providing storage of wet weather flows for potential use during dry periods.
  • Water Quality:
    • Water quality/nutrient-loading reduction: Nutrient reduction projects can include reduction or elimination of domestic wastewater discharges, removal of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems and connection to central sewer, stormwater storage and infrastructure modification, sediment reduction facilities and retrofits.
  • Natural Systems Restoration:
    • Measurable resource benefits to streams, lakes, wetlands, springs and aquifers.
  • Flood Protection:
    • Address flood protection issues on a local (REDI communities exclusively), intermediate or regional scale.
Funding available
  • The district is providing $5 million in funding for fiscal year 2016–2017.
Application Deadline
  • Complete applications were to be emailed between November 3, 2015, and 4 p.m. on December 17, 2015, to funding@sjrwmd.com.
  • Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding.
Contacts
  • Dale Jenkins:
    Phone: 386-312-2304
    Email: drjenkins@sjrwmd.com
  • Mark Brandenburg:
    Phone: 407-659-4806
    Email: mbrandenburg@sjrwmd.com
Disclaimer
  • The district will select projects that it determines provide the most beneficial water resource results.
Procurement Schedule

The following schedule is provided with key dates.

Action DateEventStatus
Oct. 23, 2015Advertise on websiteComplete
Nov. 3, 2015Workshop — Palatka (District Headquarters)Complete
Nov. 4, 2015Workshop — Maitland Service CenterComplete
Nov. 3–Dec. 17, 2015Application preparation and applicant meetings with Bureau staffComplete
Dec. 18, 2015–Jan. 29, 2016Staff evaluation and ranking of applicationsComplete
Feb. 9, 2016Staff recommendation to Governing Board: consider approval of REDI / Innovative projects for fundingComplete

Applicants are encouraged to arrange time with district staff to review potential projects
between Nov. 4 and Dec. 17, 2015.

Districtwide agricultural cost-share

The St. Johns River Water Management District accepted applications for its districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program through July 28, 2017. The objective of the program is to engage farmers, growers and ranchers in the shared goals of water conservation and reduction of nutrient run-off.

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, the following (please note that high tunnels will not be considered for funding):

  • Irrigation system retrofits
  • Soil moisture and climate sensor telemetry
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Subirrigation drain tile
  • Tailwater recovery and reuse
  • Soil mapping with variable rate fertilizer application
  • Expanded waste storage

Cost-share could be up to 75 percent, not to exceed $250,000 annually, of the design, construction and implementation costs for approved projects. An MIL (Mobile Irrigation Lab) evaluation was recommended for submittal with the application but is not required. Applications were due by July 28, 2017, with project selection anticipated for approval at the district’s Oct. 10, 2017, Governing Board meeting.

Regarding SB 552, the district’s agricultural cost-share program has been funded with the goal of increasing water conservation and thereby reducing water use. Participation in the cost-share program is entirely voluntary. To ensure that expending these funds provides a return on investment in the form of an actual reduction in water use, one requirement of the cost-share agreement is that the recipient be willing to memorialize the savings produced by district funds through a modification of their consumptive use permit. Any reduction in allocation that does occur as a result of receipt of funds through the cost-share program would have a backup allocation for a minimum of five years, while the new system is being evaluated to ensure the reduction would not impair the permittee’s ability to continue their operation. If a grower chooses to fund his/her own conservation project, there would be no reduction in permitted allocation during the term of the permit in compliance with the
Florida Statutes. Additionally, in order to promote conservation, the district may provide longer duration permits to those who have demonstrated conservation on their farms, regardless of funding source.

Program contact

For information about the districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program, contact:

  • Suzanne Archer
    (St. Johns River
    Water Management District)
    at 407-215-1450 or sarcher@sjrwmd.com

Tri-County Agricultural Area (TCAA) resources

TCAA Water Management Partnership
Multiple agencies are contributing funding, education and technical assistance for growers in the TCAA of Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties to implement projects that contribute to improving the health of the St. Johns River. These projects are anticipated to contribute to the improved health of the river through on-farm and regional water management projects and practices that reduce the movement of nutrients to the river, improve water conservation, and result in more efficient farm management while maintaining the long-term viability of agriculture in the TCAA. Applications for the TCAA Water Management Partnership cost-share program are different than the deadline to submit applications for the district’s general agricultural cost-share opportunity.

Project types

Cost-share could be up to 75 percent of the engineering, design and construction costs of an approved project, as submitted using the TCAA Water Management Partnership cost-share funding application form. The grower will be expected to cover maintenance costs; however, future requests for long-term maintenance items (such as drip tape) may be considered for funding.

Project types eligible for funding include:

  • Subsurface drip
  • Surface drip
  • Overhead
  • High tunnels
  • Sub irrigation drain tile (per acre cap of $3,859.55 [TCAA WMP payout cap of $2,894.66/acre at 75%]).
  • Wet detention
  • Recovery/reuse
watqual_TCAAmap_lrg
Program contacts

For information about the TCAA Water Management Partnership, contact:

  • Katie Hallas TCAA – WMP Coordinator (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Agricultural Water Policy) at 850-617-1719 or Katie.Hallas@FreshFromFlorida.com
  • Jody Lee Environmental Manager (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Agricultural Water Policy) at 386-329-4812 or jlee@sjrwmd.com
  • Suzanne Archer (St. Johns River Water Management District) at 407-215-1450 or sarcher@sjrwmd.com
  • TCAA extension agents (additional information and assistance in filling out applications)
    • Flagler County:
      Mark Warren 386-503-4491
    • Putnam County:
      David Dinkins 904-484-6097
    • St. Johns County:
      David Dinkins 904-484-6097
Practices/equipment

Cost-share could be up to 75 percent for approved practices/equipment, not to exceed a total reimbursement of $75,000, as requested using the TCAA Water Management Partnership cost-share funding application form. Bander requests may include a global positioning system unit, tender, travel assembly, and/or other bander-related items to ensure the most efficient use of the equipment. Cost-share for approved practices/equipment other than banders and related items could be up to 75 percent of cost.

Cost-share amounts may be contingent on other funds being received for the same practice/equipment (such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program [EQIP] funding). However, if these practices/equipment are part of a project proposal (as shown on the cost-share funding application form), they may be considered for up to 75 percent cost-share. Funding from this program may not duplicate funding from other programs. Projects eligible for funding include:

  • Banding equipment
  • Pump upgrades with soil moisture sensors
  • Soil moisture sensors
  • Observation wells
  • Soil plant analysis development (SPAD) meters
  • Soil compaction meters
  • Nurse tank and injection pumps for fertigation
  • Automated fertigation and irrigation controllers for drip systems
Cumulative funding cap

Cost-share funding per producer for single-farm projects/practices may not exceed an annual total of $250,000. Supplemental cost-share from other programs will not count toward the TCAA Water Management Partnership cumulative funding cap. TCAA Water Management Partnership cost-share approved for participation in regional projects will not count toward the annual total cap.

Projects already under way in the TCAA

Projects already receiving funding serve as an example of project types that growers may wish to implement. For example, a successful application from a Hastings farmer was submitted in May 2012 and funding awarded for a project involving banding equipment and pump upgrade with soil moisture sensor.

Eligibility requirements

Participating growers must meet eligibility requirements, such as complying with all applicable laws and permits, allow appropriate district staff to monitor and inspect project sites, and participate in educational initiatives for other growers.

How to apply for funding

Interested growers who meet the eligibility criteria should submit a completed application along with requested attachments to Jody Lee. Two committees will review all applications to determine if funding is appropriate based on its potential on the individual farm and expansion to other farms.

National Water Quality Initiative

Funding for implementation of approved agricultural conservation practices to improve water quality in the lower St. Johns River (Deep Creek and Clarks Bay) TCAA watershed is a program (National Water Quality Initiative) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

NRCS also has other programs for growers, including conservation stewardship and technical assistance, organic and energy incentives, farms and ranchlands protection, and soil survey programs. Application deadlines vary by program.

For additional information, visit the NRCS website or contact Lakeisha Barber, NRCS district conservationist, at 386-328-2908, ext. 3, or Lakeisha.Barber@fl.usda.gov.

Other programs administered by USDA-NRCS

Growers are encouraged to work with NRCS to develop conservation plans for their operations to assess the nutrient and water management needs across an entire farm, thereby improving a grower’s position to compete for federal and other funds as they become available.

Funding opportunities include:

  • Conservation plans
    Conservation planning is a natural resource problem-solving and management process, with the goal of sustaining natural resources. Conservation plans include strategies to maintain or improve yields, while also protecting soil, water, air, plant, animal and human resources. They are developed in accordance with the USDA-NRCS field office technical guide. Assistance in developing a plan can be obtained through the local Soil and Water Conservation District, the USDA-NRCS, the Cooperative Extension Service, and private consultants who function as technical service providers. Conservation plans are usually required to receive cost-share funds for any of the programs described on this page.
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
    EQIP provides financial assistance for the implementation of selected management practices. Eligibility for the program requires that the farm have a USDA-NRCS approved conservation plan. Practices eligible for EQIP cost-share funds are designed to improve and maintain the health of natural resources, and include cross-fences, water control structures, brush management, prescribed burning, nutrient management, and erosion control measures.
  • Florida EQIP program
    Florida EQIP provides a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. Florida EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Applications are accepted year-round, with specific deadlines for special projects. For additional information, contact Jeffrey Woods, assistant state conservationist for financial assistance programs, at 352-338-9515 or jeffrey.woods@fl.usda.gov. You may also visit the EQIP website to locate the nearest local office.
  • Conservation Security Program (CSP)
    CSP is a voluntary conservation program that supports ongoing stewardship on private lands. It rewards farmers and operators who meet the highest standards of conservation and environmental management. Its mission is to promote the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life.
  • Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
    WRP is a voluntary program designed to restore wetlands. Program participants can establish easements (30-year or perpetual) or enter into restoration cost-share agreements. In exchange for establishing a permanent easement, the landowner usually receives payment up to the agricultural value of the land and 100 percent of the wetland restoration cost. Under the 30-year easement, land and restoration payments are generally reduced to 75 percent of the perpetual easement amounts. In exchange for the payments received, landowners agree to land-use limitations and agree to provide wetland restoration and protection.

Additional information about these programs, including eligibility criteria, is available by contacting your local USDA service center or the agency’s website.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services grants

Qualified Florida agribusinesses can benefit from grant opportunities to help defray the costs of promoting Florida-grown agricultural products and expanding into domestic and international markets. For additional information, visit the FDACS website.