Vilsack announces $84.8 million for vital watershed projects
Recovery Act assistance will help rural communities
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack April 16 announced that the USDA will be sending $84.8 million to state and local governments to improve water quality, increase water supply, decrease soil erosion, and improve fish and wildlife habitat in rural communities as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"President Obama is committed to improving water quality, creating more dependable water supplies and decreasing soil erosion and this funding will make a big difference in the lives of the people who live in these rural communities," Vilsack said.
Other major benefits include improved community safety and health, flood mitigation, sediment control, and enhanced fish and wildlife habitat.
"For example," Vilsack said "the Neshaminy Creek Watershed (Pennsylvania) project funding will be used to acquire, elevate and flood-protect approximately 80 homes and businesses in the 100-year flood plain, while the Beaver Creek (Colorado) Watershed project will develop 45 land-treatment contracts with family-owned farms, resulting in significant water quality improvement, water conservation, and enhancement of scarce wildlife habitat."
ARRA funds will be used to develop conservation measures such as planting vegetative cover and creating shallow water ponds to improve wildlife habitat, improving irrigation efficiency and conserving water, installing filter strips and soil erosion control practices, flood proofing homes and enhancing stream corridor and floodplain function, and constructing small flood control dams.
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 over 1,400 jobs.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service 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 on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 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.