The USDA is pumping 32-million dollars into five Mississippi River Basin water quality and wetlands projects.
The five projects involve seven states—Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that, when fully implemented, the projects will prevent sediments and nutrients from entering waterways, decrease flooding and improve bird and fish habitat.
NRCS estimates the funding will help restore 11,400 acres to wetland habitat.
In Iowa, the funding will help with the North Raccoon River Wetland Initiative.
“We look to see improvements on about 1,020 acres in the Prairie Potholes region of Iowa,” Vilsack says. “We believe this will ultimately improve water quality and wildlife habitat. It should also assist flood-affected landowners by providing some flood relief opportunities in the Raccoon and Des Moines River watersheds.”
USDA is providing more than six-million dollars and will partner with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on the project.
Missouri will be part of a six-state project to restore Lower Mississippi River Batture hardwood forest and wetlands.
“We hope to restore roughly 7,280 acres of bottomland hardwoods in 2012—and up to 30,000 acres when the project is fully completed,” says Vilsack.
USDA is providing more than 20-million dollars and will partner with the Mississippi River Trust on the project.