Vilsack announces nearly $42.3 million in recovery act funding for watershed projects
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack June 2 announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide nearly $42.3 million in additional funding to 14 states to improve water quality, increase water supply, decrease soil erosion, and improve fish and wildlife habitat while creating jobs in rural communities as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"This next wave of funding will give even more people opportunities to conserve our nation's natural resources while boosting local economies," Vilsack said. "The overwhelming response we received with the first wave of Recovery Act funding shows the assistance that people and communities need, and we look forward to helping them deliver it by investing in improving local watershed projects."
Through ARRA, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has a key role in creating jobs for Americans in areas of our nation that are most impacted economically and by natural disaster. By working closely with local community sponsors to identify projects that are ready for implementation, NRCS will direct the technical and financial assistance available toward improving public safety and the environment as well as relieving stress on local economies through job creation and retention.
ARRA funds for these projects will be used for conservation practices to achieve a healthy environment through conserving water and improving irrigation efficiency, controlling soil erosion and installing filter strips, flood-proofing homes, enhancing stream corridor and floodplain functions, constructing small flood control dams, and improving wildlife and aquatic habitat.
The jobs ARRA creates in the private sector will enhance the rate of restoration and improve watershed management so that the impacts of flooding will decline and communities are safer, sooner.
USDA is directing technical and financial assistance available through this funding toward projects that are ready to begin and that will relieve stress on local economies through the creation of jobs. NRCS has worked closely with sponsors to identify projects that are ready for immediate implementation.
Funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is part of the Obama Administration's plans to modernize the nation's infrastructure, jumpstart the economy, and create jobs. For more information, visit www.recovery.gov.
To learn more about your eligibility for USDA projects underway through the Recovery Act, go to www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome.