The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest approximately $800,000 in two multi-year projects in Arkansas that aim to build vital infrastructure while conserving natural resources through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.
The projects are:
Lake Bennett Watershed – Rock levee back slope of the watershed dam has eroded away due to water over topping the dam during heavy rains and flooding. The project rebuilds the back slope of the dam with rock riprap and drainfill along the masonry wall of the dam.
Ozan Creek Watershed Site 19 – The back slope of the embankment has major erosion from rains due to highly plastic soils. Work entails repairing the entire back slope of the embankment by recompacting the slope to a stable condition with lime treatment.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with local groups to help prevent floods, protect watersheds, improve agricultural water management and enhance wildlife habitat through this program.
“The health of the nation’s watersheds is important to reduce potential damage from flooding and erosion,” said Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist for Arkansas. “This program plays a critical role in protecting lives and property and improving natural resources within our watersheds.”
The projects are in smaller watersheds that cover 250,000 acres or less. The projects are owned by local sponsors, such as conservation districts, local governments and American Indian tribes. NRCS serves as the primary technical adviser to project sponsors because of its engineering and environmental expertise and ability to deliver science-base technology and knowledge about the watershed’s natural resources and ecosystem.
Since 1947, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program has helped communities address critical needs on flood control, water management, watershed protection and development. This strong federal, state and local partnership has resulted in the construction of more than 2,000 watershed projects that help communities in every state and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These watershed projects reflect a federal investment of about $6.2 billion and deliver an estimated $2.2 billion in average annual benefits nationwide.