As part of a $16.8 million state initiative, Cayuga County will receive more than $300,000 to protect water quality, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced this week.
As part of the 24th round of grants through the state's Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District will receive $317,487 for projects to protect water quality in the Salmon Creek/Cayuga Lake watershed.
All of the projects support the state's Agricultural Environmental Management program, Conservation District Executive Director Doug Kierst said.
In addition to reducing phosphorous and nitrogen in the watershed, two factors widely considered to contribute to harmful algal blooms, the projects will also provide for improve nutrient management and allow for appropriate land application of manure while protecting the economic viability of the participating farms.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout the state applied for the projects on behalf of farmers, who are required to contribute towards the overall cost. For the three farms participating in Cayuga County, the total landowner contribution is $112,800, according to Kierst.
Contracts for the specific projects still have to be finalized, but the tentatively approved best management practices include waste storage and transfer systems, silage leachate control and treatment systems, manure and agriculture waster treatment systems and access control.
"We still have a lot of work to still do before we receive any funding and begin the implementation of any projects," Kierst said in an email. "We still have to complete the plan of work, confirm that the landowners are still interested and on board with the proposed work, etc."
In total, the state funding announced this week will support 54 different water quality conservation projects. Central New York received the second-most funding, $3.4 million for 11 projects, behind $4 million for the same number in the North Country.
"Agriculture is one of New York's greatest economic drivers, and we will continue to assist farmers across the state as the work to deliver quality products while also conserving our treasured natural resources," Cuomo said in a release.
For a complete list of projects awarded, visit agriculture.ny.gov/PressReleases/agnps_r24_project_2018.pdf