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Landowners along river eligible for wetlands-conservation program

WEST MISSISSIPPI — Owners of land along the Mississippi River in Mississippi may be eligible for financial and technical assistance with increasing bottomland forest acreage and enhancing water quality under the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), part of the Wetlands Reserve Program. Eligible land is between the Mississippi River and the river’s primary levees. These lands are called “batture” lands and are in the river’s active floodplain.

Landowners enrolling in the voluntary WREP in Mississippi can receive up to $1,700 per acre for placing an easement on the land.

When fully implemented, the program will reduce sediment and nutrients entering waterways, decrease flooding, and improve bird and fish habitat in six states.

Mississippi River Trust will manage the program in partnership with the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, a coalition of state agencies, and the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The program will provide $20 million to landowners in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Landowners interested in applying for funding should contact local NRCS offices. The sign-up period will end June 18.


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