WEST MAUI - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funds available to West Side farmers and ranchers to install conservation practices through the West Maui Coral Reef Initiative.
The first application period is closing Oct. 19, so interested parties are encouraged to call the NRCS Kahului Field Office right away for more information. A second sign-up period will close Dec. 21, 2012.
The West Maui Coral Reef Initiative is one of 15 NRCS Landscape Conservation Initiatives addressing resource concerns on a regional basis.
Fire damage is visible in this state file photo of the upper West Maui Watershed.
In a typical example, an NRCS conservation specialist will meet at a landowner's site to discuss production goals and identify conservation practices that can address site-specific resource concerns. Applicants that meet certain eligibility requirements may receive funding assistance to install the practices.
This partnership between farmers and NRCS improves water quality and coral reef health by increasing stewardship practices that reduce and prevent sediment and nutrient runoff.
The initiative area covers the West Maui, Lahaina, Kahakuloa, Waihee, Wailuku, Waikapu and Maalaea districts.
Agricultural producers interested in learning more about the West Maui Coral Reef Initiative should contact the NRCS office at 77 Hookele St., Suite 202, at 871-5500.
Visit www.pia.nrcs.usda.gov for more information on NRCS programs and services.