USDA Investing in Mississippi River Basin Water Quality

Melissa SandfortConservation, USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners will invest nearly $32 million this year in financial and technical assistance for five water quality and wetlands improvement projects in seven Mississippi River Basin states. When fully implemented, the projects will prevent sediment and nutrients from entering waterways, decrease flooding and improve bird and fish habitat. NRCS estimates that this investment will restore 11,400 acres to wetland habitat.

Landowners interested in applying for funding should contact their local NRCS office. Signup dates may vary based on the individual project.

NRCS provides funding for these new projects through its Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program, part of the agency’s Wetlands Reserve Program. Since 2010, NRCS has formalized WREP agreements under MRBI with 47 landowners in the Mississippi River Basin, investing $17.8 million in long-term conservation easements and wetland restoration projects.

Note: Chuck will be covering the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) 2012 Conservation in Action Tour thanks to support from CTIC and AGROTAIN.