The Farmable Wetland Program (FWP)

The Farmable Wetland Program (FWP) focuses on the restoration of wetlands to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife. The federal government will share in the cost to restore wetlands that have a history of being used in row-crop production. Annual rental payments are given to the landowner for establishing permanent cover on the land. Incentive payments may also be given to install complementary conservation practices. This program is a component of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Land Use Cropland
Focus Rental payments, Cost-share payments, Incentive payments
Resource Concern Water quality, Wildlife habitat
Purpose The environmental purpose is to restore wetlands, which will reduce downstream flood damage, improve surface and groundwater quality, and recharge groundwater supplies. This program also provides habitat for threatened wildlife species.
Landowner Benefits Landowners can receive annual rental payments for establishing permanent cover. Cost-share payments are given for implementation of conservation practices. Incentive payments and technical assistance also are a part of this program.
Description The Farmable Wetlands Program (FWP) provides annual rental payments for 10-15 years and up to 50% cost-share for establishing permanent cover. Incentive payments are given after sign-up and after installing certain conservation practices. This program works with the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
Practices Wetland restoration, including seeding and fertilizing
Costs to Landowner Landowners must pay at least 50% of the costs of establishing the conservation practice.
Eligibility Land eligibility includes constructed wetland that will receive flow from row-crop drainage and provide nitrogen removal; land that was devoted to commercial pond-raised aquaculture in 2002-2007; land that was intermittently flooded and had a cropping history in 3 years between 1990 and 2002 and was subject to natural overflow of prairie wetland.
Contract The contract is 10 to 15 years and is transferable with a change in ownership.
Other Notes Maximum of 40 contiguous wetland acres/tract. “Flooded farmland” to have a 20-acre limit. A buffer may not exceed 3 times the size of the wetland or an average of 150 feet on either side of the wetland, whichever is greater. Participants must refrain from commercial use of the land.
Landowner Initiation
  • Contact the local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) or Farm Service Agency (FSA) where you own land.
  • Ask about enrolling land into the Farmable Wetlands Program (FWP).