The COW Program is no longer accepting applications for new projects.
The Marin RCD’s Conserving Our Watersheds (COW) Program is designed to help landowners implement environmental improvements. Marin RCD sentnotifications to eligible landowners that funding is available to implement certain conservation proactices in order to reduce pathogen concentrations and enhance wildlife habitat. Notices were sent out at the end of February and applications were due to Marin RCD onMarch 30, 2017. Proposed projects are being reviewed and visited in April. Marin RCD staff will create project descriptions that will go to a Technical Advisory Committee. The Technical Advisory Committee consists of experts from various fields and with in-depth knowledge of the watersheds will visit the projects. They will determine the highest priority projects using a selection criteria, and will then recommend which high priority projects to fund to the Marin RCD Board.
Who was eligible?
All agricultural producers with projects in the Tomales Bay, San Antonio* (Marin and Sonoma County) and Novato Creek watersheds can apply. In addition, all parcels with a Marin Agricultural Land Trust easement are also elgible for Marin County Measure A funds. Solicitation notices (postcards) were sent to all landowners within these watersheds notifying landowners of available funding.
*Projects in the San Antonio Creek watershed on the Sonoma County side are able to apply to Marin RCD direclty thanks to a partnership with Sonoma RCD.
What are the priorities for this funding round?
1) Practices that reduce pathogen concentrations of the Tomales Bay watershed.
2) Pracitces that enhance wildlife habitat in the San Antonio and Novato Creek.
What is the process?
The following process can take 9 to 15 months (project dependent):
- Assess if you have a project that meets the priorities above.
- Submit an application after discussing your project with Marin RCD staff to make sure your project is eligible, by March 30.
- Marin RCD will arrange a site visit with you to take photos and complete a brief write up on your project, by April 27.
- A Technical Advisory Committee will review, visit (make sure you are available May 2-4 for a site visit) and rank all projects against a Selection Criteria, the first week of May.
- The Technical Advisory Committee will recommend projects to Marin RCD Board for funding.
- Projects are expected to go in front of the Marin RCD Board on April 12.
- Projects that are approved by the Marin RCD Board will then move into the design phase including (planning, permitting, etc.). Another site visit will need to occur with the engineer.
- Once projects are designed and approved by the landowner, the Marin RCD Board will approve the design into construction phase.
- Projects approved for construction cannot be constructed until all necessary environmental documentation and procedures (biological trainings and archaegological surveys) have been complete, permits (if necessary) are secured.
What does the program cover?
The funding will cover 100% of permit costs, 100% of design costs and 75% of construction costs. Marin RCD will pay 100% of costs for the installation of a riparian planting (native trees, shrubs, willow stakes and juncus). The remaining construction contributions must come from the landowner, NRCS and/or MALT.
Why should I apply?
This service can help you reach your ranch plan goals by implementing land stewardship practices.
What USDA NRCS practices are eligible for funding through Marin RCD?
Marin RCD can help landowners plan, design, permit and install the following pracitces:
- Critial planting areas
- Riparian fencing
- Water/spring developments (if a water source is being fenced out)
- Filter strips
- Grassed and lined waterways
- Livestock crossing and walkways
- Sediment basins
- Grade stabilization
- Streambank Protection
- Acces road (repair to protect water quality)
- Fish passage projects
Where are these funds coming from?
- Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act 319(h) through the State Water Resources Control Board
- California Department of Water Resources’ Integrated Regional Water Management Program
- Marin County’s Measure A Ordinance