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USDA chooses river projects for funding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of 75 projects in 12 states, including Mississippi, that will help landowners and producers within the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that prevent, control and trap nutrient runoff from agricultural land.

Under the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide technical assistance and a total of $30 million of financial assistance during federal fiscal year 2010 for projects in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

More than $22 million in Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) funds will be administered through the Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. Nearly $8 million will be provided in Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program funds. Partner organizations will contribute additional financial resources.

These multi-year watershed projects were selected through a competitive process.

A listing of the projects by state, and additional information about the MRBI, are available at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/mrbi/mrbi_overview.html.

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