Three Wisconsin watersheds will be part of a National Water Quality Initiative. State Conservationist Pat Leavenworth says the Ward Creek-Little Sugar River watershed in Green and Dane Counties; the Big Green Lake watershed in Green Lake County and the Waumandee Creek in Buffalo County watershed were selected. Eligible producers in these watersheds will begin voluntary conservation actions to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.
The selected watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the NRCS State Technical Committee. Using nearly $900,000 from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide funding and advice to producers to install conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces in watersheds with impairments where the federal investment can make a difference to improve water quality.
To restore the stream corridor itself, streambank fencing, riprap, critical area planting, and buffers are needed. Aquatic habitat structures, such as lunkers, boulders, weirs, and cross logs, may also be added for fish habitat.
NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. All applications must be received by June 15, 2012 to be considered for funding in 2012. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results and begin developing contracts with selected applicants.
Leavenworth says” By reducing soil erosion from the cropland, and repairing and stabilizing the streambanks, the watercourse and the fishery will recover in due time.”