National Water Quality Initiative
Rio Grande de Añasco, PR
Through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), the Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering financial and technical assistance to
farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in improving water quality
and aquatic habitats in priority watersheds with impaired streams. NRCS will
help producers implement conservation and management practices through a systems
approach to control and trap nutrient and manure runoff. Qualified producers
will receive assistance for installing conservation practices such as cover
crops, filter strips and terraces. For over 75 years, NRCS has provided
agricultural producers with assistance to implement voluntary conservation
practices that protect natural resources while maintaining production and
Caribbean Area Priority Watershed: Rio Grande de Añasco
The Rio Grande de Añasco is one of the primary rivers discharging
into Mayagüez Bay and drains one of the largest watersheds in Puerto
Rico. The Añasco watershed covers an area of 257 square miles and
includes portions of Añasco, Mayagüez, Las Marías, Maricao, San
Sebastián, Lares, Yauco, and Adjuntas municipalities. The watershed is
ranked # 5 on the list of impaired watersheds in the Puerto Rico Unified
Watershed Assessment, due primarily to sediment, bacterial and chemical
contamination (low dissolved oxygen, high arsenic and turbidity). Many
of these pollutants are directly related to agricultural sources such as
fertilizers, pesticides and manure from crop and pasture lands.
NRCS has identified sheet and rill erosion, water quality and quantity, plant
health, flooding and invasive species as the primary resource concerns in the Añasco watershed that will be addressed through
Conservation Funding and Practices
NRCS conservation professionals will provide technical assistance and
planning tools to determine which conservation actions will provide the best
results to improve water quality on your land. Nutrient management systems,
erosion control, conservation tillage, pest management, and buffers systems are
just some of the practices being offered as part of the National Water Quality
Initiative. To help install these conservation practices, financial assistance
to share in the cost of these conservation practices is available though the
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
NRCS identified priority watersheds through the help of local partnerships
and state water quality agencies. Partners sometimes offer financial assistance
in addition to NRCS programs. NRCS will continue to coordinate with local and
state agencies, conservation districts, nongovernmental organizations and others
to implement this initiative. This strategic approach will leverage funds and
provide streamlined assistance to help individual agricultural producers take
needed actions to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients and other runoff into
Water quality conservation practices benefit agricultural producers by
lowering input costs and enhancing the productivity of working lands.
Conservation investments are good for all Americans because well managed farms
limit pollution from runoff, produce food and fiber, sustain rural economies,
and provide food security to the Nation. All across the country— farmers,
ranchers and forest landowners are voluntarily taking action and putting
conservation on the ground to improve water quality on millions of acres!
NRCS is proud to be involved in a nationwide effort with landowners and
communities to improve and protect our water resources. The landowners and
farmers participating in the initiative will receive conservation payments to
work on the land in a sustainable way which provides cleaner water. In addition
to the financial assistance, the land will remain productive into the future.
Communities benefit by having clean waterways, safer drinking water and healthy
habitat for fish and wildlife.
How to Apply
To get started,
make an appointment at the Mayagüez Field
Office. You will need to establish eligibility
and farm records for your land. NRCS will help you complete an application while
explaining which conservation practices are available in your watershed.
Remember to check with your local NRCS office to see if you are located in a
selected watershed. All applications for funding consideration during fiscal
year 2012 must be received by June 15, 2012.
For More Information
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