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USDA Awards New Partnership Project in Mississippi to Help Mitigate Climate Change and Protect Natural Resources while Supporting America’s Producers

JACKSON, MISS. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it is investing $330 million in 85 locally driven, public-private partnerships to address climate change, improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability, including one project in Mississippi. Projects are awarded through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

 

“The Regional Conservation Partnership Program is public-private partnerships working at their best,” said Kurt Readus, NRCS State Conservationist in Mississippi “These new projects will harness the power of partnerships to help bring about solutions to natural resource concerns across the country while supporting our efforts to combat the climate crisis.”

 

In Mississippi, Wildlife Mississippi and four partners propose to use conservation easements to protect critical farmland, forest land and Tribal lands to safeguard the last remaining portion of unprotected private lands upstream of Mississippi’s largest source of drinking water for the majority-African American city of Jackson. Project activities will also protect and enhance critical habitat for migratory birds and a turtle species listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

 

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is engaged in a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect our nation’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources including our soil, air and water. Through conservation practices and partnerships, including those through RCPP, USDA aims to enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers, producers and private foresters. Successfully meeting these challenges will require USDA and our agencies to pursue a coordinated approach alongside USDA stakeholders, including state, local and Tribal governments.

 

About RCPP

 

Through RCPP, conservation partners work in collaboration with NRCS to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners throughout the nation to implement systems that conserve water and soil resources, improve the health of wildlife habitats and increase climate resilience.

 

RCPP partners offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding. These projects offer impactful and measurable outcomes. Throughout its history, RCPP has leveraged partner contributions of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA, resulting in nearly $3 billion collectively invested in natural resource conservation on private lands. The Department anticipates the investments made today will generate at least $440 million in additional conservation funds by communities and other partners

 

See the interactive map of awarded RCPP projects here.

 

There are currently 336 active RCPP projects that have engaged more than 2,000 partners. For more information, visit the RCPP website.

 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.