USDA Selects New Mississippi River Basin Initiative Wetland Projects
May 22nd, 2012
On May 22, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of new Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) projects in five wetland areas covering seven states. USDA funding for the projects will come from the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), a special component of the Wetlands Reserve Program. The USDA funding, combined with resources from partners sponsoring the projects, will be used to restore and preserve wetlands, as well fund measures to control nutrient and sediment deposition into the wetlands.
USDA and its partners will contribute almost $32 million to the projects to restore and preserve about 11,400 acres of wetlands. Conservation activities will include converting cropland back to hardwoods and other permanent vegetation and modifying the hydrology to restore wetland functions.
The projects and their funding levels include:
- Arkansas: Boeuf River Watershed – NRCS and Partner (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) Funding: $2,178,316
- Arkansas: Cache/L’Anguille – NRCS and Partner (Craighead County Conservation District) Funding: $214,748
- Arkansas: Cache River and Lower Whit-Bayou Des Arc wetlands restoration – NRCS and Partner (The Nature Conservancy) Funding: $3,030,000
- Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee: Lower Mississippi River Batture hardwood forest and wetlands restoration ( Batture wetlands are found in the alluvial plains between the Mississippi River levees and the low water line of the River) – NRCS and Partner (Mississippi River Trust) Funding: $20,231,933
- Iowa: North Raccoon River Wetland Initiative (IA Prairie Pothole Region)- NRCS and Partner (Iowa Department of Natural Resources) Funding: $6,183,000.
Landowners interested in funding to implement project activities should contact their local NRCS Office. Cut-off dates for landowner applications vary with the project.