NRCS Announces National Water Quality Initiative Conservation in Virginia
Richmond, May 8, 2012 – State Conservationist Jack Bricker announced the launch of a new National Water Quality Initiative committed to improving three impaired waterways in Virginia. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will make financial and technical assistance available to producers in Wolf Creek (Washington County), Somerton Creek (City of Suffolk), and Mollys Creek (Campbell County) to invest in cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.
Eligible farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in these areas can apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to install cropland, grazing, and forestry practices to address water quality resource concerns. Covered practices include cover crops, prescribed grazing, fencing, watering systems, and nutrient management. Though NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis, interested producers should apply by June 15, 2012 to be considered for funding in this fiscal year.
“The Water Quality Initiative will further NRCS’ partnership efforts to improve water quality using voluntary actions on private lands,” Bricker said. “The selected watersheds are areas where federal investment can make a difference to improve water quality. This focused approach in areas facing significant natural resource challenges will complement conservation efforts Virginia NRCS and its partners already have underway.”
NRCS identified the selected watersheds with help from state agencies, partners, and the NRCS State Technical Committee. These waterways are on the state’s impaired streams list and water quality monitoring studies show that sediment and nutrient runoff from agricultural operations have contributed to this impairment. Land use in the three watersheds includes a combined 3,056 cropland acres, 18,973 forest acres, and 15,590 pasture acres.
Remember to check with your local NRCS office to see if you are located in a selected watershed. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results following the ranking of all applications and begin developing contracts with selected applicants. For more information about NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Virginia, visit us online at .