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Watershed funding extended

Partnering with American Farmland Trust (AFT) and the Livingston and Ford County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the Vermilion Headwaters Watershed Project MRBI funding through FY19.

This makes available an additional $251,000 in Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding to be used for conservation practices in the watershed. Cover crops, constructed wetlands, buffers and reduced tillage are just a few of the practices that are eligible for incentives with the MRBI program funding.

The Mississippi River is North America’s largest river and provides drinking water, food, industry, and recreation for millions of people. The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative, or MRBI, works to improve water quality by providing targeted funding and technical resources to agricultural producers in the areas that need it most.

The Vermilion River, which empties into the Illinois River and ultimately into the Mississippi, is considered a priority watershed by the Illinois EPA in the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). It was chosen because of the high levels of nitrates in the river. To address these concerns, NRCS, along with local partners, are working with farmers and landowners to implement conservation practices that will reduce the amount of nitrates entering the river and improve its overall health.

If you would like more information, or would like to sign up for the program, you can contact the Pontiac NRCS office at 815-844-6127, ext. 3, or the Paxton NRCS office at 217-379-2371, ext. 3.

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