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News Release

Watersheds Receive Federal Assistance to Improve Water Quality

Rich Torpin

Agricultural producers located in eastern Nebraska priority watersheds have until Feb. 17 to apply for assistance.

LINCOLN, NEB., Jan. 13, 2017 – State Conservationist Craig Derickson announced today that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the National Water Quality Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to improve water quality in impaired watersheds located in eastern Nebraska. Interested participants have until Feb. 17, 2017, to apply.

The selected watersheds are:

  • Bazile Creek – located in Antelope, Pierce, and Knox counties
  • Wahoo Creek – located in Saunders County

Derickson said, “USDA is committed to working hand-in-hand with farmers, ranchers, and landowners to address water quality issues and provide the tools necessary to ensure clean, safe water for communities and wildlife. This latest investment is another example of how voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs are benefiting both producers and our natural resources.” 

The targeted watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the USDA State Technical Committee. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is working with the local Natural Resources Districts in these watersheds through the Nonpoint Source Water Quality Grants-Section 319 Program. 

According to Derickson, including these watersheds in the National Water Quality Initiative will strengthen the overall effort to improve water quality in impaired streams in Nebraska. 

Derickson said, “Through this effort, eligible producers in these watersheds will invest in voluntary conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.”

NRCS will provide funding and expertise to farmers and ranchers interested in installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips, terraces, no-till and other erosion control practices to improve water quality. NRCS staff will work with individual landowners to develop a conservation plan to apply practices that work best for their farming operation in each particular watershed

Interested landowners and operators should check with the local NRCS office to see if their farm or ranch is located in one of the targeted watersheds. Additional information about the National Water Quality Initiative, and detailed maps of the sign up areas, are available at here.