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News Release

NRCS Announces $495,163 Funding for Tyronza 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 $495,163 in financial assistance available in FY 2012 to agricultural producers for addressing water quality concerns in the Tyronza River Watershed in portions of Mississippi and Poinsett counties through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI).

NRCS, in partnership with the Mississippi County Conservation District, 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 228,611 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, reduce sediment and nutrient loads entering the Tyronza watershed, enhance wetlands, and improve fish and wildlife habitat benefits.  Water quantity and in-stream water quality will be enhanced through implementation of the approved conservation practices.

“The Mississippi County Conservation District is very excited about the opportunity to partner with NRCS to offer producers in Mississippi County financial assistance for the implementation of conservation practices through MRBI.  The Tyronza River MRBI project will not only put more conservation on the ground, it will yield valuable data from water quality research from various points within the project area,” said Allen Donner, Mississippi County Conservation District Board chairman.

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 Tyronza River Watershed.  Applications may be obtained and filed with the Natural Resources Conservation Service at:

Mississippi County Osceola Field Service Center 3137 W. Keiser Osceola, AR  72370 (870) 563-3207, ext. 3   Poinsett County Harrisburg Field Service Center 505 Brooks Ave. Harrisburg, AR  72432 (870) 578-2444, ext. 3