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Kentucky Awarded $3 Million in the Mississippi River Basin Health Watersheds Initiative

Three projects will be active in restoring water quality and habitat in the Mississippi River Basin

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (July 12, 2010)The Kentucky Conservation Partnership will receive $3 million over a five-year period for three out of 76 projects awarded nationwide to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin. The projects will take place in three areas of the state: Licking River, Lower Green and the Bayou de Chien/Mayfield Creek watersheds.

The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Conservation worked with several partners to secure $500,000 for each project for the first year.  Partner agencies include the Nature Conservancy, Department for Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Kentucky Cattleman’s Association, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, USDA Resource Conservation and Development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kentucky Division of Water, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension and the U. S. Geological Survey.

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters said the focus of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative is to improve water quality and the overall health of the Mississippi River Basin.  “This program will help agriculture producers in the watersheds implement conservation and management practices that avoid, control and trap nutrient runoff.

“The initiative is performance oriented, and measureable results are required to participate, including the reduction of environmental impacts through more efficient use of nutrients through crop and livestock production,” said Peters.  

An additional $500,000 will be made available for each project in the next four years to agriculture producers in the chosen watersheds through the Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program. The additional money will be used for extended projects not included in the EQIP that focus on precision nutrient management and farming incentives.

For more information contact Steve Coleman, Director of the Kentucky Division of Conservation at 502-573-3080 or e-mail steve.coleman@ky.gov. More information about the MRBI program can be found at www.ky.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.

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