The Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers in portions of 22 parishes to develop and enhance habitat for migrating birds, according to a news release.

This assistance is being offered through the service’s Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative.

The initiative works with agricultural producers to create or enhance shallow water, mud flat, and moist soil habitats to benefit a variety of migratory birds. The projects provide food and critical habitat for bird populations; much-needed water during drought; support for local economies by attracting hunters and bird watchers, and new opportunities to improve wildlife management.

Eligible areas for Louisiana’s 2012 Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative include portions of: Acadia, Allen, Assumption, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and Vermilion parishes.

Funding for the 2012 initiative will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Applications are accepted throughout the year. But, to be considered in the first initiative ranking pool, applications must be received by close of business on May 18.

Interested producers should contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or visit for more information.