On October 15, 2015, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $30 million across six states to aid in the protection and restoration of wetlands. The funding stems from the Westland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) that is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
WREP, which is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), allows local governments, NGOs, and American Indian tribes to collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partnerships work with tribal and private landowners to enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on the property.
The states chosen for the funding for 2015-2016 are Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, and Tennessee. Information on the individual projects to be funded can be found on the USDA news release linked above. The investment adds to the over $330 million the USDA announced for the 2015 fiscal year dedicated to the protection and restoration of agricultural working lands, grasslands, and wetlands.