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News Release

USDA/NRCS Assists Farmers to Improve Water Quality in Mississippi River Basin

Kavanaugh Breazeale
601.965.5205 EXT 134

Media Release

June 30, 2017

Jackson, Miss. – The United States Department of Agriculture / Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made funding available through the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) to assist landowners and farmers with improving the water quality of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.   The MRBI funds are channeled through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and help farmers adopt conservation systems that improve water quality control, soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat.

NRCS will accept applications for the MRBI through July 21, 2017. The specific areas in Mississippi are the Beaver Bayou-Mound Bayou, Burrell Bayou, Tommie Bayou/Brook Bayou, Christmas Lake Bayou, Stillwater Bayou and Long Lake in Bolivar, Washington and Sunflower Counties.

“NRCS is working with landowners and farmers through the MRBI to improve water quality in watersheds within the Mississippi River Basin which helps to deliver water quality benefits to communities in Mississippi," stated Kurt Readus, NRCS state conservationist for Mississippi.

Known as “America’s River,” the Mississippi River is North America’s largest river and the second largest watershed in the world. It flows over 2,300 miles through America’s heartland to the Gulf of Mexico and provides drinking water, food, industry, and recreation for millions of people. It is the main stem of a network of inland navigable waterways 12,350 miles in length and is a globally significant migratory flyway and home for over 325 bird species.

Through the MRBI, NRCS 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 and viability of cropland.  These conservation practices will serve to help control nutrient runoff, prevent erosion and provide essential wildlife habitat.

Research has shown that MRBI conservation programs on croplands in the Mississippi River Basin have reduced the amount of soil loss per acre and reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.

Landowners and producers interested in participating in MRBI may apply at their local USDA service center/NRCS Office. NRCS financial-assistance programs offer a continuous sign-up however, applications received by July 21, 2017 will be considered for funding in this ranking period.