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NRCS Invests in Six WV Projects in Local Watersheds to Protect Communities

The NRCS in West Virginia plans to invest in six multi-year projects and activities that aim to build vital infrastructure while conserving natural resources through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.

West Virginia is among 20 states and territories that will receive funding for 48 projects nationwide 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.

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 six watershed projects funded for West Virginia are:

  • Upper Deckers Creek Watershed, Monongalia County – treatment of acid mine drainage in the lower six miles of Deckers Creek to improve water quality.
  • Headwaters of the Elk River, Kanawha County –  flooding solutions in tributaries to the Elk River.
  • Tributaries of the Cherry River, Nicholas County –  stream habitat and watershed restoration.
  • Elkhorn Creek, McDowell County – improvement of streambank conditions and address flooding in vulnerable areas.  
  • Sewell Creek, Boggs Creek, Greenbrier County –  this project will focus on flooding in areas impacted by the June 2016 flood.
  • Upper Guyandotte, Wyoming County –flooding solutions along small streams where repeated flooding has occurred.  

Watershed Funding Areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Protecting lives and property and improving natural resources within our state’s watersheds are critical,” NRCS State Conservationist Louis Aspey said. “NRCS has made much progress throughout West Virginia in reducing damages caused by flooding, sedimentation and erosion. Unfortunately, continued flooding in recent years has shown that much work remains.”

NRCS plans to invest a total of $150 million 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.

NRCS works with project sponsors, such as conservation districts and local governments. The projects take place in smaller watersheds that cover 250,000 acres or less. As the watershed plans are developed, there will be public meetings and opportunity for public comments. 

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. In West Virginia, these projects provide over $90 million in annual benefits.

For more information on local watershed projects and the Small Watershed Program contact Pamela Yost, Watershed Economist, at the NRCS State Office at (304) 284-7572 or pamela.yost@wv.usda.gov. Additional information will be added to the website as the projects are being developed.