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National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service supports the voluntary actions of farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to improve water quality. Through the water quality focused efforts, eligible producers will invest in voluntary conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities. Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to producers for implementing conservation practices such as riparian buffers, conservation tillage, irrigation water management, soil moisture monitoring in selected watershed locations.

Fishtrap Creek and Wiser Lake Creek (Nooksack River) Project Area

NWQI FY 16 MapFishtrap Creeks are important tributaries to the Nooksack River Basin System. Nearly half of both watersheds’ boundaries extend into Canada. Water quality, flow, habitat, bacteria and nutrients are all concerns that are being closely looked at by the watershed community as well as by local and state agencies (Whatcom Conservation District and the Lummi Indian Nation).

Eligible producers will receive assistance for installing conservation systems on their land. Lands within the boundaries of Fish trap Creek and Wiser Lake watershed in the Nooksack River drainage will be eligible for NWQI funding FY16.

Through this initiative, NRCS is also piloting its new Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff. The tool will help landowners determine how alternative conservation systems they are considering will impact water quality improvement. Additionally, state water quality agencies and other partners will do in-stream and watershed-level monitoring to track water quality improvements in many of the project watersheds

Conservation Funding and Practices

NRCS conservation professionals will provide technical assistance and planning tools to determine which conservation actions will provide the best results to improve water quality on your land. To help install these conservation practices, financial assistance to share in the cost of these conservation practices is available though the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). For more detailed information, go to the EQIP Application Process FAQ.

How to Apply

If you have property located in the Fishtrap Creek or Wiser Lake Creek (Nooksack River) watershed make an appointment at your local NRCS office. You will need to establish eligibility and farm records for your land. NRCS will help you complete an application while explaining which conservation practices are available in the watershed.

The deadline for applications is April 15, 2016.


Technical Contact
John Kendig
Area Resource Conservationist
(360) 704-7783

State Point of Contact
Jeff Harlow
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
(509) 323- 2971