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Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI)

Through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), the Natural Resources Conservation Service and partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in the Mississippi River Basin.

Why the Mississippi River Basin?

Known as “America’s River,” the Mississippi River is North America’s largest river, flowing over 2,300 miles through America’s heartland to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the centerpiece of the second largest watershed in the world. The watershed not only provides drinking water, food, industry, and recreation for millions of people, it also hosts a globally significant migratory flyway and home for over 325 bird species.

NRCS has identified the Mississippi River Basin as a top priority due to water quality concerns, primarily related to the effects of nutrient loading on the health of local water bodies and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico.

The 13-state Initiative builds on the cooperative work of NRCS and its conservation partners in the basin, and offers agricultural producers in priority watersheds the opportunity for voluntary technical and financial assistance.

The participating States are Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Priority Watersheds for Illinois

Map of FY2016 MRBI Watersheds

Crow Creek West/Clear Creek

Vermilion Headwaters

Clinton Lake Watershed

Upper Macoupin

Map of 2016 MRBI Watersheds - MRBI2016.pdf (PDF, 335kb)









For more information: go to the National NRCS MRBI webpage.
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