Indianapolis — Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced that NRCS is accepting applications until May 11, 2020, to be considered for targeted funding to improve water quality in the Upper Sinking-Blue River watershed located in Washington and Harrison counties through NRCS’ National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
NWQI provides a way to accelerate voluntary, on-farm conservation investments where they can deliver the greatest benefits for clean water. This targeted funding will help eligible farmers adopt conservation practices that will reduce the amount of nutrients flowing from agricultural land into waterways, curb erosion and improve the resiliency of working lands in the face of droughts and floods. Funding for NWQI comes from the Farm Bill’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Goals for the Upper Sinking-Blue River Watershed include a reduction of nutrients, sediment, and pathogens to waterways. Aside from nonpoint source reduction, there is also a focus on increasing water quality awareness among residents about conservation practices related to agriculture, forestry, and urban issues like maintaining septic systems. The targeted EQIP funding will help decrease nutrient and sediment runoff from agriculture through practices like cover crops, nutrient management plans and pasture management.
“By targeting small priority watersheds, we are helping farmers to deliver local water quality benefits that contribute to large-scale improvements for the basin as a whole,” Raynor said.
All applications for funding consideration must be received by May 11, 2020.
To learn more about the watershed projects selected in Indiana, visit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/in/programs/landscape/nrcs144p2_031016/.
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/.
— Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service
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