Michigan Watersheds Targeted in USDA Water Quality Initiative
EAST LANSING, May 9, 2012 - Two Michigan watersheds are included in the National Water Quality Initiative announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on May 8. The national initiative will make conservation funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture available to farmers in two Michigan watersheds, located in Clinton and Calhoun counties.
"The National Water Quality Initiative signifies a bold step by USDA to improve water quality in some very challenging watersheds," Vilsack said. "American farmers are good stewards of the environment, and this initiative provides them with additional tools to protect and improve fish and wildlife habitat and water quality."
Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to producers for implementing conservation practices such as cover crops, nutrient management, filter strips and conservation tillage. NRCS has $684,000 in conservation funding available for farmers in the Pigeon Creek Watershed in Calhoun County and the Hayworth Creek Watershed in Clinton County. Applications must be submitted by June 15, 2012 in order to be considered for this funding opportunity.
Producers can view an online map or check with their local NRCS office to see if they are located in a selected watershed. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results of the competitive selection process and begin developing contracts with applicants approved for funding.
To deliver the initiative, NRCS worked in collaboration with local partners and state conservation and water quality agencies to identify watersheds where on-farm investments have the best chance to improve water quality. NRCS also will work with state and federal partners, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey, to assess results over the long term. The initiative will build on ongoing efforts in the Mississippi River Basin, Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and other landscape conservation initiatives across the Nation.
Since 1935, NRCS's nationwide conservation delivery system works with private landowners to put conservation on the ground based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests. For more information about the National Water Quality Initiative, visit us online at www.mi.usda.gov.
A listing of NRCS local offices in Michigan is available online at http://www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/Field Offices.html.
NRCS-Michigan National Water Quality Initiative Information