The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provided more than $4.5 million in funding to five of Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts for Watershed Flood Prevention and Operations. The funding will be directed toward developing watershed plans in the Central Platte NRD at Grand Island, Lower Big Blue NRD at Beatrice, Lower Elkhorn NRD at Norfolk, Middle Niobrara NRD at Valentine, and Upper Niobrara White NRD at Chadron.

The Central Platte NRD received funding to complete a watershed and flood prevention operations plan for Elm and Turkey Creek Watershed. The grant will fund the cost of completing the plans. The first step of the two-year planning phase is to develop environmental assessments for each watershed. The Elm and Turkey Creek Watershed project area covers more than 100,000 acres in Dawson and Buffalo counties.

The Lower Big Blue NRD received funding to complete a watershed and flood prevention operations plan in the Indian Creek Watershed. This plan will evaluate structural and non-structural alternatives to mitigate flood-related damages to Beatrice and agricultural properties, improve flood resiliency, stabilize streambanks, and improve recreation opportunities. The plan will include an area covering more than 48,000 acres in Gage and Lancaster counties.

The Middle Niobrara NRD received funding to complete a watershed and flood prevention operations plan for watersheds in Cherry County. This grant will fund the cost of completing the plans. The first step of the two-year planning phase is to develop environmental assessments for each watershed. The Cherry County Watersheds will cover nearly 570,000 acres.

The Upper Niobrara White NRD received watershed and flood prevention operations plan funding to complete the Box Butte Creek Watershed plan, which will evaluate flood prevention, watershed protection and groundwater recharge projects. Box Butte Creek is a tributary of the Niobrara River with the watershed covering approximately 144,000 acres of northeast Box Butte and west-central Sheridan counties.

The Lower Elkhorn NRD received watershed and flood prevention operations plan funding to complete the Maple Creek Watershed plan, which will evaluate potential flood prevention, watershed protection, agricultural water management, and public recreation projects.

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