The Land Conservation Loan Program is an innovative financing approach to fund conservation easements and land-preservation land purchases with Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund (WPCRF) municipal loans.
Municipalities that have wastewater projects on the fundable portion of the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund (WPCRF) Project Priority List can enter into sponsorship agreements with implementing partners to conserve forestland, open space, and wetlands. Possible partners are the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) Forestland Conservation Program, the Agricultural Lands Preservation Program, and DNREC’s Open Space and Conservation Easement Programs. Funded land conservation easements and/or fee simple land purchases must have demonstrated water quality improvement benefits and be managed in perpetuity.
Forestland, open space, and wetlands conservation.
Municipalities with wastewater projects on the fundable portion of the WPCRF project priority list.
DNREC’s Environmental Finance will determine the demand for WPCRF Land Conservation loans each year based on municipal wastewater projects on the fundable portion of the WPCRF Project Priority List. Environmental Finance will contact municipalities about the opportunity to participate in this program. Interested municipalities will then confer with DDA and DNREC land conservation program staff to discuss opportunities, review land parcels, and determine the optimal land conservation solution. Depending on the land parcel selected, DDA and/or DNREC land conservation program staff will provide the necessary land conservation program application, explain program criteria, and enter into sponsorship agreements with municipalities. Necessary land appraisals and negotiations with land owners will be arranged or conducted by DDA and/or DNREC land conservation program staff. Loan settlement will be facilitated by Environmental Finance in consultation with attorneys representing the municipality, the and owner, and the WPCRF program. Municipalities shall begin loan repayment 30 days after loan settlement based on semi-annual loan debt service payments.