INDIANAPOLIS — Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced they are accepting applications for funding to help improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie basin located in northeast Indiana.
Dollars are available for farmers through the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Collaboration Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The partnership is driven by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, which joins forces with more than 30 partners to help participating farmers improve soil health, reduce phosphorus and sediment loading, and prevent harmful algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie basin. The goal of the program is to work towards a 40% reduction of dissolved phosphorus by using a suite of conservation practices. The partnership targets the Maumee watershed within the Western Lake Erie basin and covers acres in northeastern Indiana which includes portions of Steuben, DeKalb, Noble, Wells, Allen and Adams counties.
While no single approach will eliminate nutrient loading into Lake Erie, a systems approach to conservation best management practices will help reduce surface and subsurface nutrient loss. The 2018 Farm Bill provides several programs, like RCPP, that offer financial assistance to farmers, aid in the potential financial risk of conservation practice adoption and provide technical assistance when developing site-specific conservation plans that reduces nutrient and sediment transport.
“This project is a great example of public, private and non-profit organizations working together to solve local problems,” said Raynor. “This group is addressing critical issues in the Western Lake Erie basin like water quality and soil quality. By targeting RCPP dollars and leveraging partner resources, we can make a greater impact on the health of one of our nation’s most significant collections of inland rivers and streams.”
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but all applications for this round of funding consideration must be received by December 17.
To learn more about RCPP in Indiana, visit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/in/programs/farmbill/rcpp/STELPRDB1248173/.
For more information about NRCS and other technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or contact your District Conservationist https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/in/contact/local/.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
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