Through the Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share program, the Soil and Water Conservation Commission is able to provide environmental grants to conservation districts to reduce agricultural non-point source pollution of surface or groundwater. These grants are provided for projects that educate the public about pollution problems and demonstrate effective alternatives, as well as those that encourage the adoption of new management techniques or measures.
The maximum grant amount is $7,500, and the maximum cost share rate is 75 percent.
In order to apply for this Environmental Grant, conservation districts need to provide the following in a written format during the period of state cost share sign-ups:
- Description of project and work to be performed
- Justification as to the need for the project
- Goals of the project and expected outcome and/or accomplishments
- Previous grant accomplishments on similar projects in the county
- Budget for the project and identify sources of required matching funds
- Other information the Commission would find important in the consideration of this environmental grant request
Many counties have been using these grants to assist with fallen animal pick up and disposal. During 2009, 46 grants were approved to assist with fallen animals. Funds for these projects are also available through each county's Agricultural Development Council.
Environmental grants have also been used for projects including, but not limited to, white goods buy back, metal recycling, illegal dump clean-up, on-site sewage programs, tree planting projects, stream bank stabilization and agriculture watershed monitoring.
For more information about this program, please contact Kimberly Richardson.