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The Times
  • Herkimer Co. SWCD to receive $166,315 for farm runoff project

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday $10.6 million in grants will be awarded to help 159 farms in 27 counties to protect lakes, streams and rivers from agricultural runoff.

    The competitive grant was awarded to soil and water conservation districts throughout the state, including the soil and water district in Herkimer County. The organization will receive $166,314.

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  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday $10.6 million in grants will be awarded to help 159 farms in 27 counties to protect lakes, streams and rivers from agricultural runoff.
    The competitive grant was awarded to soil and water conservation districts throughout the state, including the soil and water district in Herkimer County. The organization will receive $166,314.
    Cuomo said in a news release the state’s lakes, streams and rivers are “natural treasures” that are enjoyed recreationally and are utilized as quality drinking water.
    “These grants will help our farmers implement safeguards to keep potential agricultural runoff out of our waterways and preserve New York's natural beauty for future generations to enjoy, while supporting jobs and economic activity in communities across the state,” he said.
    Ted Teletnick, the county district field manager, said the grant will specifically help one farm in Herkimer County, as it was written for in the grant.
    “It’s to mitigate any pollution discharge from the farm,” said Teletnick during a telephone interview on Monday afternoon. “Not only will this help preserve water quality, but it will also enhance the operations of the farm.”
    The grants are part of the state Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, which is funded through the Environmental Protection Fund. The recipients were chosen via a competitive process that awarded cost-share funding to county soil and water districts to help farms address water quality challenges in priority watersheds throughout the state.
    Eligible projects included 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.
    “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,” said Darrel J. Aubertine, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets commissioner, in a news release. “Additionally, these projects stimulate jobs and economic activity with the use of construction companies and materials for the awarded projects at the local level.”
    “Investing state funds in these projects makes it possible for county soil and water districts to leverage dollars from numerous sources to get conservation on the ground, which often does as much for the local economy as it does for the environment,” said George Proios, chairman of the state Soil and Water Conservation Committee, in a news release. “In some cases, these water quality projects can save communities on water treatment costs and protect public health and safety. This work helps our farms thrive, supporting jobs and local businesses, while also protecting the state’s natural resources, enjoyed by residents and tourists alike.”
    Page 2 of 2 - A total of $10,682,229 in grant money was awarded in this round to 27 districts. Also receiving moneys were the Oneida County district with $104,900; the Otsego County district with $16,185; the Lewis County district with $305,725 and the St. Lawrence County district with $1,051,898.

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