Ohio, eight other Mississippi River Basin states to receive watershed funds

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced $8.4 million in financial assistance to support 23 new partnership projects in several Mississippi River Basin states under USDA’s Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative. Ohio is set to receive $700,000.

These projects will fund producer activities that will avoid, control and trap sediment and nutrient runoff from agricultural lands, improving water quality throughout their operations.

The initiative was first announced in September 2009 and provides financial assistance for voluntary projects in priority watersheds in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Helping producers

MRBI is helping producers implement conservation and management practices that prevent, control and trap nutrient runoff from agricultural land.

Selections were based on the potential for managing nitrogen and phosphorus — nutrients associated with water quality problems in the basin — while maintaining agricultural productivity and benefiting wildlife.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service manages the initiative. The 23 selected projects are located in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Local funds. The Ohio project includes a $700,000 grant for work in the headwaters of the Wabash River Watershed. The money was granted to the Mercer Soil and Water Conservation District.

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