USDA Seeks New Partnerships to Protect and Restore Critical Wetlands

Proposals due by November 30, 2020

DOVER, Del. October 7, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing up to $30 million in technical and financial assistance to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Restored wetlands help improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding, and provide recreational benefits.

“We are looking to our partners for wetland project proposals that will leverage our conservation funding,” said Kasey Taylor, Delaware State Conservationist. “Together, we can maximize our wetland restoration acres in Delaware and gain greater results.”

Funding is available through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), part of NRCS’ Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Eligible conservation partners in Delaware will work through WREP to voluntarily execute high priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities on eligible agriculture lands. WREP enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing meaningful benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist.

Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.

NRCS will review partners’ project proposals and evaluate priority resource concerns, objectives, costs, and expected outcomes for each project and rank proposals based on the criteria set forth in the ranking worksheet on the WREP webpage.

Partners interested in WREP are encouraged to work with John Bushey, Easement Program Specialist at 302-598-4746, when developing the proposal.

Proposals should be emailed to John Bushey ( by November 30, 2020.

Partners looking to learn more about opportunities for WREP funding for fiscal year 2021 are encouraged to attend the WREP workshop on October 22, 2020, at 1 p.m. EDT. Visit the WREP webpage for more information on the workshop or this program opportunity.