Indianapolis, April 18, 2018 – Jill Reinhart, Acting State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today a second round of funding to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin that includes portions of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. All applications must be received by May 18, 2018 for funding consideration.
Dollars are still available for the “Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction” Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). This project is led by a group of public, private and non-profit organizations. Financial assistance is available to install conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health such as cover crops, nutrient management plans, grassed waterways, drainage water management, filter strips and residue management. The portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin in Indiana includes parts of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Steuben and Wells counties.
“RCPP is effective in helping local people identify and address resource issues that are most meaningful to their community,” Reinhart said. “This project demonstrates that government and private entities can work together to make more positive impacts on the environment.”
The Tri-State RCPP project is funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help farmers with the costs of conservation practices. These practices improve water quality by reducing the amount of nutrients and sediment flowing off farm fields into waterways while improving soil health, which can make crops more resilient during times of extreme weather.
To date, the partners have used a targeted approach to identify high-priority sub-watersheds for phosphorus reduction and increase assistance to farmers, including innovative demonstrations of practices that NRCS does not fund. National experts from multiple scientific entities and institutions are evaluating the results using project-wide water quality monitoring and watershed modeling program.