Mississippi River Basin receives $30 million for water conservation systems
The funds will be administered through the Mississippi River Basin Health Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), which partners with farmers to implement conservation systems. So far, MRBI has worked with 600 partners on 1 million acres. The MRBI concentrates on water quality, wildlife habitats and wetlands restoration. Over the next three years it will invest a further $30 million per year.
"By targeting small priority watersheds within the Mississippi River basin, we are helping to deliver local water quality benefits and contributing to large-scale improvements for the Basin as a whole," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Water quality is important to everyone, at all levels of government, to private landowners, and in rural and urban areas alike. The many partnerships created through this initiative are both impressive and promising to the future of these watersheds."
These efforts promote the Gulf of Mexico’s health, including 18 and 20 percent reductions in the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus reaching the Gulf, according to a 2013 report from the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP).