Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded more than $600,000 as part of a new grant program announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday.
The Cayuga SWCD is one of 27 counties to receive funding from the $10.6 million grant meant to protect New York's lakes, streams and rivers. The grant is part of the New York State Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program which is funded through the Environmental Protection Fund.
"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," Gov. Cuomo said. "These grants will help our farmers implement safeguards to keep potential agricultural runoff out of our water ways and preserves New York's natural beauty for future generations to enjoy, while supporting jobs and economic activity in communities across the state."
The grant awards cost-share funding to help farms address water quality challenges in important watersheds throughout the state. Eligible applicants include those that develop comprehensive nutrient management plans or implement best management practices to protect water quality while still maintaining viability of the farms involved.
County SWCD Grazing Specialist, Jason Cuddeback applied for the grant last January to work on projects related to grazing and efforts to cover crops to help protect watersheds in the county, he said. The grant will benefit watersheds of Cayuga, Skaneateles and Owasco Lakes, and the Seneca River.
"These funds will help us as we continue to help maintain and protect these watersheds," Cuddeback said. “And anything we can do to reduce the amount of nutrients going into these lakes and rivers is a step in the right direction.”