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Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Aquaculture Initiative

Grants to New Jersey Aquaculture Producers to Support the
Implementation of Conservation Activities

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US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - New Jersey

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Grants to New Jersey aquaculture producers for assistance in implementing conservation practices. Funding is intended to support activities related to shellfish and finfish aquaculture, and habitat restoration for oyster reef. All conservation practices that are eligible through the EQIP program are approved for the Aquaculture Initiative. Primary practices supported through the EQIP Aquaculture Initiative include:

- Gear Cycling - This practice is used to reduce, clean, or remove biofouling organisms and other waste from bivalve production areas. Fouled gear is brought on short, air dried, and cleaned in an approved off-site location. NRCS assistance can help to defray the cost of extra equipment, increased labor, and record keeping.
- Rack Replacement - Wildlife movement can be inhibited by the oyster production racks. Wildlife (especially horseshoe crabs) may be trapped beneath the racks during low tide and unable to reach nesting habitat on shore. NRCS can provide assistance to replace new racks installed to the appropriate height and spacing to facilitate wildlife movement under and around racks. Rack height is at least 12 inches from the surface.
- Oyster Bed Restoration or Enhancement/Replenishment - Successful oyster growth occurs on beds that have a firm substrate. Land for aquaculture production that needs improvement to the bottom for spat on shell and wild oyster production may qualify for oyster bed restoration assistance.
- Shoreline Protection - Prevent the loss of land or damage to banks of streams, lakes, reservoirs, or estuaries (does not apply to ocean fronts). Vegetation and bioengineering treatments are used to stabilize low risk areas.

Other available practices include:

- Agricultural Energy Management Plan
- Constructed Wetland
- Farmstead Energy Improvement
- Heavy Use Area Protection
- Lighting System Improvement
- Waste Storage Facility.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186358

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program open to all eligible agricultural producers including livestock, forestry, and organic production.

Applicants must have current crop and producer records on file with USDA’s Farm Service Agency. They must comply with the adjusted gross income limitation (AGI) provisions and be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements. They must own or control the land for the term of the proposed contract, agree to implement specific eligible conservation practices according to the contract schedule, and have an interest in an agricultural operation. There must be an existing resource concern that can be addressed through an NRCS conservation practice.

Land is not eligible EQIP if it is currently enrolled in another USDA Farm Bill conservation program such as the Wetland Reserve Easement program (WRE) or the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for the same practice on the same land. Land is also ineligible if it is used for mitigation purposes, or if it is publicly owned, unless the publicly owned land is part on an eligible operation.

Pre-Application Information:

EQIP applications can be submitted anytime during the year. EQIP has a continuous sign-up with application cut-off dates to rank and prioritize any new or unfunded applications. A signed application can be filed with the local NRCS office at any time.

A signed application indicates an interest in developing a conservation plan, the first step in the application process.

Application Cut-off Period: August 30, 2019

Payments are made after practices and activities are implemented.

Eligibility and application process:

Current funding opportunities and deadlines:

Get Started with NRCS:

Application documents:

General EQIP program information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications to your local NRCS office:

State Office
Carrie Lindig, State Conservationist
220 Davidson Avenue 4th Floor
Somerset NJ 08873

Phone: 732-537-6041

For a list of specific employees, see:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey