The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has received funding through the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to help improve surface water quality in waters flowing into Lake Ontario.

The Service will provide financial and technical assistance for the projects.

The funding, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, will allow the Service to target threats to the Great Lakes. In New York, the Initiative area includes portions of Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga, Oswego, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wyoming, Steuben, and Allegany counties, which drain into Lake Ontario.

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, eligible landowners and farmers will receive assistance for conservation work. The Initiative focuses on practices that have the highest benefit for reducing water quality degradation due to agricultural runoff, including animal waste storage facilities, residue management, no-till, and nutrient management.

For fiscal year 2021, the Service will accept applications for funding through Aug. 21. Applications accepted after Aug. 21 will be considered for funding in the next signup period. To apply for funding, interested farmers and landowners should contact their local USDA office by Aug. 21.

For more information, visit If interested in applying for a conservation program, visit Apply by visiting the local Service field office, which can be located at

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