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News Release

NRCS Announces Sign Up Period for National Water Quality Initiative

United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

6013 Lakeside Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46278

Indianapolis, IN March 18, 2013 — Jill Reinhart, Assistant State Conservationist for Farm Bill Programs announced today that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding to improve three impaired watersheds in Indiana.

Through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), eligible producers in Silver Creek, Ell Creek or Eagle Creek Reservoir watersheds will invest in voluntary conservation actions to help provide cleaner water for their communities. The selected watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the NRCS State Technical Committee. All three watersheds are included on the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s 303(d) impaired water body list due to pollution from excess nutrients and all three watersheds include significant acres of land that have been classified by NRCS as highly erodible.

“The National Water Quality Initiative is an opportunity to target Farm Bill funds to small watersheds to try to saturate the watershed with conservation,” Reinhart said. “We have worked with our partners to focus these funds in areas where we can really make a difference in water quality.”

Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide funding and advice to producers to install conservation practices such as cover crops, no-till, filter strips, and terraces in watersheds with known water quality impairments.

The Silver Creek watershed is located within the larger Eel watershed and lies within portions of Fulton, Kosciusko, Miami, and Wabash counties in northeastern Indiana. The Ell Creek watershed is located within the larger Patoka watershed and lies solely within Dubois County in southwestern Indiana. The Eagle Creek watershed is located within the larger Upper White River watershed and lies within portions of Boone, Hendricks and Marion counties in central Indiana.

“The NWQI gives producers another tool to adopt sustainable farming practices while protecting wildlife habitat and water quality,” said Reinhart. “We look forward to collaborating with producers in these key areas of the state to help them have a positive impact on their farms, on Indiana’s waters, and on the Mississippi River Basin as a whole.”

All applications for funding consideration, during this fiscal year, must be received by April 19, 2013. Remember to check with your local NRCS office to see if you are located in a selected watershed. For more information about NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Indiana, visit us online at

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Jill Reinhart, Assistant State Conservationist, 317.295.5883 (
Rebecca Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317.295.5825 (

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