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Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI)

A bioreactor is being constructed in north central Iowa.To improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat, the Natural Resources Conservation Service is developing the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI). Through this new Initiative, NRCS and its partners will help producers in selected watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity.

These improvements will be accomplished through a conservation systems approach to manage and optimize nitrogen and phosphorous within fields to minimize runoff and reduce downstream nutrient loading. NRCS will provide producers assistance with a system of practices that will control soil erosion, improve soil quality, and provide wildlife habitat while managing runoff and drainage water for improved water quality.

The Initiative builds on the past efforts of producers, NRCS, partners, and other State and Federal agencies in the 13-State Initiative area to address nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin. Nutrient loading contributes to both local water quality problems and the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The participating states are Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

NRCS accepts and processes MRBI applications on a continuous basis. However, NRCS sets dates to prioritize applications as funding allows. The first batching and ranking of applications for fiscal year 2015 is Oct. 17, 2013. The second cutoff date for batching and ranking applications is April 17, 2015. For the North Raccoon, the first batching and ranking of applications for fiscal year 2015 is June 19, 2015. For the Upper Cedar, Lindsay Honey Creek, and Cline Branch North Fork, and Lytle Creek Watersheds, the third batching date and ranking of applications is June 19, 2015. Contact your local NRCS office for more details.

Iowa MRBI Information


Iowa MRBI 2015 Projects

Project Name Counties Lead Sponsor Project Area Map Fact Sheets Contact

North Raccoon Watershed

2015 Ranking Summary (PDF)

Buena Vista Buena Vista SWCD       Larrette Kolbe (712) 732-3096

Lindsey-Honey Creek Watershed

2015 Ranking Summary (PDF)
Delaware, Clayton Delaware SWCD Lindsey Creek, Honey Creek, Allison Creek Map (PDF)   Wayne Brunsman (563) 927-4590

Lytle Creek Watershed

2015 Ranking Summary (PDF)
Jackson, Dubuque Jackson SWCD Otter Creek, Washington Mills, Lytle Creek Map (PDF) Lytle Creek Fact Sheet (PDF, 3 MB) Amy Eads (563) 652-2337

Upper Cedar MRBI Watershed Project

2015 Ranking Summary (PDF)

Chickasaw, Floyd Chickasaw SWCD, Floyd SWCD Beaver Creek, Colwell County Park-Little Cedar River, Gizzard Creek, Little Cedar River Map (PDF) Upper Cedar Fact Sheet:
Chickasaw (PDF, 3 MB)
Floyd (PDF, 3 MB)
Dennis Sande (641) 394-2513

Putnam County Headwaters Locust Creek and West Locust Creek MRBI Project

Putnam (MO), Wayne Putnam SWCD Locust Creek, West Locust Creek Map (PDF) Headwaters Locust Creek and West Locust Creek Fact Sheet Monica McGrew (641) 872-1350

Cline Branch North Fork Watershed Initiative

2015 Ranking Summary (PDF)
2015 CAFO Ranking Summary (PDF)
Jackson, Jones Jackson SWCD Cline Branch-North Fork Maquoketa River Map (PDF, 1.1 MB) Cline Branch:
Jackson (PDF)
Jones (PDF)
Amy Eads (563) 652-2337

Buckworth Creek-Headwaters Medicine Creek

Putnam (MO), Wayne Putnam (MO), Wayne Buckworth Creek, Medicine Creek Headwaters Map (PDF) EQIP Policies (PDF) Monica McGrew (641) 872-1350

National MRBI Information

Paul Goldsmith, EQIP Coordinator
Phone: 515-284-4353

Video: This American Land - Farming the Upstream