More than $1 million is coming to St. Lawrence County to protect waterways from agricultural runoff.
A total of $10.6 million will help 159 farms in 27 New York counties protect lakes, streams and rivers around the state.
The funds were granted by way of a competitive process to county Soil and Water Conservation Districts to help preserve water quality in major watersheds throughout New York State.
This round of awards includes $1,051,898 for the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.
"New York's vast network of lakes, streams and rivers are a natural treasure, enjoyed each year by our residents for recreational activities as well providing a source of quality drinking water," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in announcing the funding. "These grants will help our farmers implement safeguards to keep potential agricultural runoff out of our water ways and preserve's New York's natural beauty for future generations to enjoy, while supporting jobs and economic activity in communities across the state."
Eligible projects include those that develop comprehensive nutrient management plans or implement best management practices to protect water quality while maintaining the economic viability of the farm. Examples of projects include grazing systems to prevent soil erosion, vegetative buffers along streams to filter runoff and nutrient management systems for watershed protection. Since 1993, New York State has dedicated more than $110 million for similar water quality projects.
Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine said, "A well-managed farm is considered a preferred land use for conserving natural resources. By investing in our farms and giving them an incentive to implement state-of-the-art conservation practices, we are not only benefiting our environment, we are helping establish more viable farm businesses and ensuring the continued production of a fresh, local food supply. Additionally, these projects stimulate jobs and economic activity with the use of construction companies and materials for the awarded projects at the local level."