RI Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Program

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Rhode Island

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Fields of work: Land/Habitat Conservation

Applicant type: Indigenous Group, Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Rhode Island

Location of residency: Rhode Island

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Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) are a voluntary opportunity to restore and protect wetlands on private property. It is an opportunity for landowners to receive financial incentives to restore wetlands that have been drained for agriculture.

Landowners who choose to participate in WRE may sell a conservation easement or enter into a cost-share restoration agreement with USDA to restore and protect wetlands. The landowner voluntarily limits future use of the land, yet retains private ownership. The landowner and NRCS develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the wetland.  

The program offers landowners three options:

  • Permanent Easements are conservation easements in perpetuity. NRCS pays 100 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement and up to 100 percent of the restoration costs.
  • 30-Year Easements expire after 30 years. Under 30-year easements, NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement and between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
  • 30-year contracts. 30-year Contracts are only available to enroll acreage owned by Indian tribes. Program payment rates are commensurate with 30-yeareasements

To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.


  • NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.