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News Release

NRCS Announces $64,190 Funding for L’Anguille River Watershed Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative

Producers Have Until July 18, 2012, to Submit Applications

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 19, 2012 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White today announced $64,190 in financial assistance in FY 2012 available to agricultural producers for addressing water quality concerns in the L’Anguille River Watershed in a portion of Cross and St. Francis counties through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI).

NRCS, in partnership with East Arkansas Enterprise Community, Inc., (EAEC) has received funding for the initiative.  Producers have until July 18, 2012, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices.  The project area covers 90,301 acres.

“We have recognized that targeting money to a specific watershed is more effective than just ‘random acts of conservation’.  One of the ways we have done this is through special initiatives within the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  MRBI targets specific watersheds for specific water quality and quantity practices,” said Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist. “Nine projects were selected in Arkansas through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative portion of MRBI.  Funding for the nine new projects will total approximately $49.7 million over the next four years.”

“Working together through the Mississippi River Basin Initiative, we are helping private landowners implement complete conservation systems on their land that help them maintain productivity; avoid, control, and trap sediments and nutrients; improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat,” Sullivan said. 

The goals of the project are to improve water quality by managing and optimizing nutrient management, reduce downstream nutrient loads, reduce sediment entering the watershed, enhance wetlands, and improve fish and wildlife habitat benefits.  Water quality and water quantity will be enhanced through a combination of conservation practices in the project area.  

“This project will allow the EAEC the opportunity to utilize a unique approach based on Integrated Community Collaboration of non-profits, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), Community Based Organizations (CBO), university staff, state agencies, private businesses, agriculture producers, scientists and natural resource managers working together to jointly identify issues and potential solutions as well as to provide outreach and education,” said Dr. Robert Cole, EAEC director.  “It shares many common goals and objectives with the MRBI which provides a logical and strategic partnership in this effort.  The participation of all segments of the community is necessary for the results expected by USDA and the EAEC to be achieved."

Funding will be available to eligible landowners through the EQIP.  NRCS will provide financial assistance for a variety of conservation practices for the purpose of reducing the amount of nutrient runoff and soil erosion associated with agricultural production.  Land and producer eligibility, adjusted gross income, and all other program criteria for participation must be met to participate in this initiative.  Agricultural lands are eligible for enrollment in the initiative.

NRCS and associated conservation partners will deliver this program collaboratively.  For more information about the project, conservation practices approved, collaborating partners and an area map, visit EAEC, L'Anguille River.  Applications may be obtained and filed with the Natural Resources Conservation Service at:

Cross County                         Wynne Field Service Center 810 Highway 64E, Suite 13 Wynne, AR  72396 (870) 238-3285, ext. 3   St. Francis County Forrest City Field Service Center 4401 N. Washington Suite A Forrest City, AR  72335 (870) 633-3055, ext. 3