USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership

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While Ducks Unlimited's fundraising teams and volunteers work diligently to raise money to support our conservation work, the conservation team also works to multiply those dollars through public funding mechanisms. One such mechanism is the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that promotes coordination of the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) conservation activities with partners. Partner contributions are leveraged with NRCS's RCPP investments to address agricultural, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns.

The USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership brings together more than 40 partners to conserve water and wildlife habitat while sustaining the rice industry in the U.S. Most recently in Louisiana, the Rice Stewardship Partnership led two RCPP projects, (1) Gulf Coast Water & Wildlife Conservation and (2) Cultivating Water Conservation on Working Lands.

The Gulf Coast Water & Wildlife RCPP focuses on Gulf Coast prairies, marshes, and bays of Louisiana and Texas to address concerns of insufficient water and inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife. In Louisiana, we developed and improved existing surface-water irrigation systems to conserve groundwater resources and to enhance wetland complexes to address inadequate habitat. This RCPP has $1 Million available for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to address surface water development in Louisiana, of which 12 applications have been funded for $737,632. Additionally, through this RCPP, 38 contracts on 63,000 acres for $6.8 Million have been award through the NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to address inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife.

The Cultivating Water Conservation on Working Lands RCPP addresses concerns of water quality, loss or degradation of wildlife habitat, and availability of ground and surface water in seven parishes in northern Louisiana that are part of the Lower Mississippi River Valley ecoregion. This RCPP seeks to implement EQIP practices, such as nutrient management, irrigation water management, wetland wildlife habitat management and others within agricultural working lands. To date, this RCPP has funded 4 contracts for $400,000.

Rice Stewardship funders include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Walmart Foundation, the Mosaic Company Foundation, NestlĂ© Purina PetCare, Chevron U.S.A., Entergy, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, RiceTec, BASF, American Rice, Inc. – Riviana Foods, Inc., Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, Delta Plastics, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Corteva Agriscience, Entergy, Wells Fargo, Farmers Rice Milling Company, Horizon Ag, Turner's Creek & Bombay Hook Farms, MacDon Industries, Riceland Foods and Ducks Unlimited major sponsors.