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News Release

NRCS Improves Impaired Watersheds in Maryland

Genevieve Lister
(443) 482-2911

Catoctin Farm

NRCS Improves Impaired Watersheds in Maryland

Agricultural Producers located in the Catoctin Creek Watershed will be able to participate

Map of Catoctin Creek Watershed in Frederick County, Maryland.

Annapolis Md., April 29, 2013 — Acting State Conservationist Deena Wheby today announced additional funding for an initiative to improve water quality in selected watersheds in Maryland. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will make $360,981 in assistance available this year to help farmers and forestland owners install conservation practices that manage nutrients, pathogens and sediments. Funding comes through the agency’s National Water Quality Initiative.

Eligible producers will receive assistance for installing conservation systems that may include practices such as nutrient management, filter strips, stream fencing, and waste storage facilities.

“The Water Quality Initiative will further NRCS’ partnership efforts to improve water quality using voluntary actions on private lands,” Wheby said. “In areas facing significant natural resource challenges, this initiative builds on the positive results of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative that NRCS and partners already have underway.”

NRCS worked closely with partners to select the priority watersheds.  State agencies, key partners and technical experts chose the Catoctin Creek Watershed, where on-farm conservation investments have the best chance to improve water quality.  The State water quality agency will do in-stream and watershed-level monitoring to track water quality improvements in the watershed.

The Catoctin Creek Watershed encompasses the southwestern portion of Frederick County and is framed by Catoctin Mountain on the east and South Mountain on the west. The Catoctin Creek watershed drains an area of 120 square miles, which includes areas of forested mountain slopes, agricultural valleys, and small towns. The area’s waters are impaired by sediments, nutrients, impacts to biological communities, and fecal coliform. The land use distribution in the watershed is approximately 43% agricultural, 42% forest/herbaceous and 15% urban, with agricultural land mostly planted in row crops and pasture.

NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. All applications for funding consideration during this fiscal year must be received byMay 17, 2013.

For more information about NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Maryland, visit us online at