Delaware NRCS Announces Water Quality Initiative in Clear Brook-Nanticoke Watershed
$255, 000 available to agricultural producers located in priority watershed
DOVER, Del., May 8, 2012- State Conservationist Russell Morgan announced the launch of a new Water Quality Initiative committed to improving impaired waterways in Delaware. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $255,000 in financial assistance available to farmers and forest landowners in the Clear Brook-Nanticoke Watershed.
“Working with producers to address water quality issues in Delaware is and continues to be a top priority of NRCS,” said Morgan. “This initiative focuses our financial resources and technical expertise toward an area faced with significant water quality challenges—thus expanding upon conservation measures already underway by our agency and its conservation partners.”
Through this effort, eligible producers in the Clear Brook-Nanticoke Watershed can invest in voluntary conservation practices to help reduce non-point source pollutants such as nutrients, sediments, and pesticides in the impaired watershed. These practices include cover crops, conservation tillage, and nutrient and pest management.
The Clear Brook-Nanticoke Watershed is located in the western region of Sussex County between Bridgeville and Seaford. Of the 24,000 acres that make up the watershed, 14,000 acres or 60 percent are in agricultural land. The watershed is on the State of Delaware’s list of impaired watersheds due to excess nutrients. State and federal agencies have been extensively monitoring water quality in select areas of the watershed and are looking into new strategies to address agricultural related water quality issues.
Delaware has $255,000 available in financial assistance for producers in fiscal year 2012 through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). All eligible applications must be submitted by June 15, 2012, although NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis.
At the end of the application period, NRCS will rank all submitted proposals for funding consideration. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results of the rankings and will obligate all contracts no later than July 2.
For more information, including eligibility requirements, on the Water Quality Initiative and other NRCS programs and services in Delaware, visit www.de.nrcs.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center. In Sussex County, call 302-856-3990 x 3; in Kent County, call 302-741-2600 x 3; in New Castle County, call 302-832-3100 x 3.
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