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Ground-breaking Ceremony in Georgia

On November 16, NRCS Georgia State Conservationist James E. Tillman, Sr., announced that the agency recently held a ground breaking ceremony and project review at three American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 dam rehabilitation sites.

The three dams are: South River #4 in Madison County, Sandy Creek #15 in Jackson County and Marbury #22 in Barrow County. Other projects that are part of ARRA are Little Sandy & Trail Creek #1 in Madison County and Sandy Creek #23 in Jackson County. All five dams are scheduled to be completed by August 2011.

Watershed dams, originally built to protect agricultural lands from floods, are now protecting homes, roads, and utilities from flood waters. As a result, they are being upgraded, or rehabilitated to meet current public safety standards.

The first project, Marbury #22, began on September 29 and is scheduled to be completed by December 11. The second project, Sandy Creek 15 in Jackson County, started work on October 18. The estimated completion date for this one is August 18, 2011. The third project, Little Sandy & Trail Creek #1 in Madison County, was started on October 25, and has an estimated completion date of January 25, 2011. South River #4 was scheduled to start on November 15 with a completion date of May 5, 2011. Sandy Creek #23 is scheduled to start on December 5 and it should be completed by July 5, 2011.

The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) Executive Director, Brent Dykes, said "The Conservation Commission is pleased to be partnering with the local soil and water conservation districts and the USDA-NRCS to fund these very worthwhile projects. As work begins, much needed rehabilitation of these five structures will be accomplished, resulting in continued flood control benefits for Georgia citizens for years to come."

Funding is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The NRCS is delivering over $5 million in financial assistance through its Watershed Rehabilitation Program, which is being matched by almost $3 million in state funds through the GSWCC.

This year represents the 75th year of NRCS helping people help the land. Since its inception in 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.