New funding available for oyster farming in the Chesapeake Bay

usdaOyster growers in Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay can now apply for $260,000 in funding through USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to help restore oyster beds on private shellfish grounds.

This unique project expanded a successful six-year collaboration between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) to create habitat for oysters, fish, and other wildlife.

The multi-year initiative will provide $776,284 in dedicated RCPP funding and resources to support Bay water quality improvements by restoring about 40 acres of privately leased oyster beds.

Producers who receive services from the Accomac, Chesapeake, Gloucester, Quinton, Smithfield, Tappahannock, and Warsaw NRCS Service Centers may be eligible to participate in this project. Interested individuals must submit a signed VMRC pre-approval form and complete an application with NRCS by October 19, 2018 to be considered for FY 19 funding.

If all funds are not obligated, the next deadline will be November 2, 2018.

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