In mid-December, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it would provide $20 million in assistance to qualified farmers, ranchers, and private forest owners for agricultural conservation practices that reduce nutrients and sediment delivery to the Chesapeake Bay. Funding for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. More funding may be available in a 2012 Farm Bill, but it currently awaits congressional approval. Read more.