New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Tuesday $12.2 million in funding through the State Environmental Protection Fund to help 209 farms in 27 counties protect New York's lakes, streams and rivers from potential agricultural runoff.

These competitive grants provide funding to county soil and water conservation districts to address water quality challenges facing farms in priority watersheds throughout the state.

The conservation districts utilize the state’s Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) framework to implement the grants.

Conservation districts will develop plans tailored to a farm’s goals and watershed needs and will establish practices and technologies to achieve those goals.