Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI)

Natural Resources Conservation Service developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat. Through this 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 will build 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 13 participating States are Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. MRBI will be implemented by NRCS through NRCS programs and initiatives.

Illinois NRCS will offer this Initiative in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. This is in addition to the agency’s regular program funding and funding by other Federal agencies, States, and partners and the contributions of producers.

Applications for EQIP are accepted on a continuous basis; however Illinois NRCS has established four application cutoff dates for MRBI applications for individuals interested in the program to apply. The four application cutoff dates are listed below:

November 15, 2013
January 17, 2014
March 21, 2014
May 16, 2014


FY2014 Eligible Illinois Watershed Areas

Watershed Ranking Document

Counties Links

Big Bureau Creek Watershed

Ranking Document and Practice List (docx, 205kb)

Bureau, LaSalle, and Lee Counties Big Bureau Creek Watershed webpage

Indian Creek Watershed

Ranking Document and Practice List (docx, 205kb)

Livingston, Ford and McLean Counties Indian Creek Watershed webpage

Senachwine Creek Watershed

Ranking Document and Practice List (docx, 205kb)

Marshall and Peoria Counties Senachwine Creek watershed webpage

Illinois Practice List & Payment Rates

FY 2014 EQIP Payment Scenario Descriptions (xlsx, 82kb)

National MRBI Information