Gulf of Mexico Initiative Meeting Held in Alabama
Alabama Included in Gulf of Mexico Initiative
AUBURN, ALA., Dec. 19, 2011
Over 30 local, state, and federal partners gathered at the Weeks Bay Resource Center in Fairhope on December 16th to discuss the Gulf of Mexico Initiative. Dr. William Puckett, State Conservationist with the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), provided an overview of the initiative which includes two watersheds in Alabama–Upper Fish River Watershed in the Weeks Bay (Fish River) River Basin and the Alabama/Florida Canoe Creek Watershed and Sandy Hollow-Pine Barren Creek Watershed in the Escambia River Basin.
USDA will work with a team of local, state, and federal partners to deliver this project. Through this effort, Gulf farmers and ranchers will invest in voluntary conservation to provide cleaner water and more abundant wildlife for their neighbors and communities. This initiative will focus up to $50 million, over three years, in conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers in priority areas along seven major rivers that drain to the Gulf. The effort includes all five states along the Gulf Coast—Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
NRCS and its conservation partners developed this initiative in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and President Obama's call to action to help restore the waters, shores, and wildlife populations along the Gulf Coast. This effort incorporates what the public and communities have requested through their input into the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Strategy to restore the Gulf Coast.
“We are excited to be a part of this locally-led effort to improve the health of the Gulf Coast region. Puckett said. “Alabama citizens will benefit by enjoying cleaner water, more abundant wildlife, and healthier fisheries produced by this project.”
Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS office for more information on the program. Offices are listed in the telephone directory under U.S. Department of Agriculture or on-line at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov.