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News Release

NRCS Announces Sign-Up Dates for National Water Quality Initiative

Paige Buck, State Public Affairs Specialist
(217) 353-6606


Agricultural Producers located in three priority watersheds will be able to participate

Champaign, IL, February 8, 2013 � State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced continuation of the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) in Illinois for fiscal year 2013. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will manage the initiative and make financial and technical assistance available to farmers and forest landowners in order to improve water quality in priority watersheds. NRCS offered NWQI in three impaired Illinois watersheds in 2012 and will continue to accept additional applications for the same three watersheds in 2013. Illinois farmers and forest landowners in the three watersheds have until March 15, 2013 to submit applications.

Douglas Creek Watershed - 14,300 acres in St. Clair County
Crooked Creek-Bon Pas Watershed - 33,266 acres in parts of Richland, Wabash, Edwards, & Lawrence Counties
Lake Vermilion Watershed - 17,656 acres in Vermilion County

The priority watersheds cover more than 65,000 acres. All three sites are identified as impaired, with degraded water quality issues. Eligible producers with concerns such as soil erosion and water quality can apply for funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to install conservation practices such as cover crops, grassed waterways, terraces, and water and sediment control basins on their land.

While NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis, NRCS will use one application cutoff date for the National Water Quality Initiative here in Illinois. That date is March 15, 2013. If funds allow, there will be a second application cutoff on May 17, 2013.

To apply, eligible producers should contact their local NRCS Field Office. For more information about the National Water Quality Initiative and NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Illinois, visit us online at

Caption: Location of Illinois watersheds eligible for USDA-NRCS National Water Quality Initiative Fiscal Year 2013. Farmers with land in these areas who are interested in applying for dedicated EQIP funds should contact their local NRCS office or visit to see detailed maps and watershed boundaries.












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