Watershed Grant Apps Due

Protecting water quality is the goal of $66,000 in grant funding now available to farmers who cultivate within the Waimanalo Watershed.

Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council (ORCDC) announced the funding recently and invites area farmers to submit their applications before Nov. 15 for first-round selections.

Farmers will be reimbursed up to 70 percent of their costs to install conservation practices like cover crops, mulch and vegetative barriers.

The watershed land that drains into Waimanalo and Kahawai streams – from Mahiku Place to Kaulukano and Mokulama streets – is the area targeted for protection, and about 800 acres of that is in small-scale agricultural operations.

The nonprofit ORCDC is partnering with the state Department of Health to offer the grants. The council works with the Wind-ward Oahu Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to encourage responsible farming.

For watershed applications and additional information on related agricultural programs, call ORCDC project assistant Amanda Camacho at 622-9026.