USDA, partners award $20M-plus for habitat restoration along river

WEST MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners report they will invest nearly $32 million this year in financial and technical assistance for five water quality and wetlands improvement projects in seven Mississippi River Basin states.

When fully implemented, the projects will prevent sediment and nutrients from entering waterways, decrease flooding and improve bird and fish habitat. NRCS estimates that this investment will restore 11,400 acres to wetland habitat, according to the USDA.

The projects include the Lower Mississippi River Batture hardwood forest and wetlands restoration, which will receive $20,231,933 via the Mississippi River Trust.

NRCS provides funding for these new projects through its Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), part of the agency’s Wetlands Reserve Program. Since 2010, NRCS has formalized WREP agreements under MRBI with 47 landowners in the Mississippi River Basin, investing $17.8 million in long-term conservation easements and wetland restoration projects.

Landowners interested in applying for funding should contact their local NRCS office at go.usa.gov/m2Y or the Mississippi River Trust. Signup dates may vary based on individual projects.

 

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