The United States Department of Agriculture / Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Gulf of Mexico Initiative
(GoMI) through the Environmental Quality Initiative Program (EQIP). GoMI is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible land owners and land managers in coastal counties in South Mississippi.
NRCS launched GoMI in 2012 to accelerate water quality, water quantity and fish and wildlife habitat conservation efforts in the Gulf-area watersheds. Land owners and managers can receive a rate of compensation to implement conservation measures, erosion control structures and water quality improvement measures on pastureland, forestland, hayland and cropland that adjoins tributaries, lakes, streams and other waterbodies flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.
"The Gulf of Mexico Initiative affords all farmers, livestock producers and forest land owners a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting land production and improving the environmental health of Mississippi," stated Mississippi State Conservationist Kurt Readus. "When we target voluntary conservation efforts in sensitive areas in the state, we see better results."
All NRCS financial assistance programs offer a continuous sign-up, however to be considered for GoMI funding in the 2016 fiscal year, applications must be received by March 18, 2016.
All or part of the counties listed are eligible to participate in GoMI: Amite, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Stone, Walthall, Wayne, and Wilkinson.