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News Release

NRCS Invests in 48 Projects in Local Watersheds to Protect Communities and Vital Infrastructure

Contact:
Amy Robertson
318-473-7762


Alexandria, Louisiana – October 5, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  in Louisiana plans to invest in a new multi-year project and activities that aim to build vital infrastructure while conserving natural resources through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.

Louisiana is among 20 states and territories that will receive funding for 48 new projects from NRCS through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program. NRCS works with local groups to help prevent floods, protect watersheds, improve agricultural water management and enhance wildlife habitat through this program.

NRCS plans to invest a total of $150 million in the 48 projects in these states and territories —Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Northern Mariana Islands, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia.

“Protecting lives and property and improving natural resources within our state’s watersheds are critical,” NRCS State Conservationist Kevin Norton explained. “Watersheds are nature’s natural boundaries. NRCS has made much progress in reducing damages caused by flooding, sedimentation and erosion in watersheds nationwide because of our proactive approach to program implementation once we obtain Congressional funding.”

NRCS works with project sponsors, such as conservation districts, local governments and American Indian tribes. The projects take place in smaller watersheds that cover 250,000 acres or less.  

The projects are owned by the local sponsors. 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.

The new, multi-year project 

  • Grant Parish Watershed - Due to the severity and duration of droughts, sources of dependable surface irrigation water are severely lacking in the project area. This project will utilize water from the Red River for distribution throughout the project area. The plan will also provide opportunities to improve wildlife and fisheries habitat and will enhance the habitat of several threatened and endangered species in the area. 

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 in the nation 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.

“History has shown us that smart, proactive investment in small watershed and flood prevention projects yield immense benefits for landowners, communities and taxpayers,” Norton said. “These types of projects have provided dependable water supplies for agricultural, residential and industrial use. They have also increased opportunities for fishing, hiking, birdwatching and the enjoyment of open space.”

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