NY announces $14M for nonpoint source pollution

Nov. 30, 2021
The funding provided will support 91 projects to help farmers address water quality challenges from nonpoint source pollution.

Last week, New York officials announced nearly $14 million to support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control program. The program which supports projects that address water quality challenges in priority watersheds and protect the environment.

The projects have been awarded to 25 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, on behalf of the farms, who will support on-farm environmental planning and the implementation of best management practice (BMP) systems to keep nutrients and other potential pollutants from entering waterways, including vegetative buffers along streams, cover crops, nutrient management through manure storage, and other conservation measures.

"New York continues to take decisive action to protect access to clean water across the state," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "This money will go towards fulfilling both those goals by encouraging the implementation of cost-effective waterway protection and reducing our carbon footprint."

Round 27 grants for the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program were awarded to:

  • Western NY Region: $1,219,312 for 4 farms
  • Finger Lakes Region: $2,644,294 for 30 farms
  • Southern Tier Region: $1,323,984 for 6 farms
  • Central NY Region: $ 3,867,030 for 31 farms
  • North Country Region: $ 1,935,559 for 5 farms
  • Mohawk Valley Region: $1,611,603 for 3 farms
  • Capital District Region: $524,687 for 2 farms
  • Mid-Hudson Region: $411,100 for 9 farms
  • Long Island Region: $154,275 for 1 farm

A complete list of projects awarded is available at the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Over the past 25 years, New York State has supported projects covering 500 separate watersheds across the state, including 1,300 manure storage projects to help farms actively balance nutrient supply and crop nutrient demand, which benefits the environment and enhances farm viability. More than 800 acres of riparian buffer have been created to filter nutrients and sediment, protecting surface water, stabilizing streambanks, improving aquatic habitat, and reducing impacts from flooding.

In addition, more than 80,000 acres of cover crops have been planted to help prevent erosion, improve soil health, and increase organic matter in the soil, which retains more moisture for crop demand through the growing season. Cover crops also sequester carbon, helping New York's farmers combat climate change. Through Round 27of this program, approximately 20,000 acres of cover crop will be implemented. Riparian buffers are another practice that allow for carbon sequestration in addition to offering water quality benefits. Over 30 acres of herbaceous and forested buffers will be implemented through Round 27.

The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program builds on the state's efforts to provide historic water quality protections, including the state's $3.5 billion commitment to clean water.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program in coordination with the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. The program is a part of the Agricultural Environmental Management framework, a broader effort that helps farmers achieve higher levels of environmental stewardship and more efficient, cost-effective farming systems.