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News Release

Lake Mendota Watersheds Selected for USDA Healthy Watershed Initiative

Renae Anderson, Public Affairs Specialist
(608) 662-4422 ext 227

Updated April 2, 2012 to reflect new deadline, May 25, 2012

Madison, Wis–– Two key Lake Mendota watersheds, the Pheasant Branch and the Waunakee Marsh/Six-Mile Creek, are the continued focus of conservation efforts in Dane County as part of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative.   Through a cooperative agreement between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Dane County, financial and technical assistance is available to farmers to begin using conservation practices that result in the reduction of nutrients and sediment flowing into Lake Mendota.     

“This Healthy Watershed  Initiative helps farmers voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff from farm land," said Pat Leavenworth, State Conservationist for NRCS in Wisconsin.  "Reducing nutrients and sediment is the key to improving water quality in Lake Mendota, and ultimately the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico."

Farmers in these two watersheds may apply for cost-sharing through the USDA-NRCS.  The funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.  Eligible conservation practices include nutrient management planning, grassed waterways, buffer strips, crop residue management and other practices that trap sediment and reduce nutrient runoff.  Applications must be submitted to NRCS by May 25, 2012 to be considered for funding in 2012.

For more information, visit, or contact Dane County Land and Water Resources Department at 608-224-3730.

Contact:   Eric Allness, 608-662-4422 x 246
                Pat Sutter, Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, 608-224-3740

For more on MRBI

Map of Dane County MRBI Project – 3 MB


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