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Donnelly Welcomes Federal Grants that Support Local Water and Soil Conservation Initiatives


Indianapolis, Ind. – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement that it has awarded Indiana three Regional Conservation Partnership Program grants to support Indiana-based locally-led conservation projects in 2016.

Two Indiana-specific programs received grants: the first to implement nutrient and sediment reduction practices in the Big Pine watershed in west-central Indiana and the second to improve soil health on reclaimed mine lands in 11 southeast Indiana counties. The other grant will fund a partnership led by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore, manage, and conserve wildlife habitats for monarch butterflies in nine states, including Indiana.

Donnelly said, “No one wants healthier land than our farmers who live and work on that land every day. Hoosier farmers and landowners continuously lead in conservation efforts to protect our important resources. These grants will support this critical work of Indiana’s local conservation leaders and continue efforts to implement conservation practices for cleaner water and healthier soils. I am proud to support the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and look forward to continued partnerships with local conservation leaders.”

The Big Pine Watershed Partnership will receive funding to reach the partnership’s goals of using cover crops on an additional 8,000 acres, implementing nutrient management techniques on 10,100 acres, and enrolling 4,850 acres into the Conservation Stewardship Program in the Big Pine watershed, a tributary of the Wabash River and part of the Mississippi River drainage. The Knox County SWCD will receive resources to implement a combination of soil health practices on 175,000 acres of reclaimed mine lands in Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, Green, Konx, Daviess, Gibson, Pike Dubois, Warrick, and Spencer counties in order improve the health of the soil, reduce the amount of sediment runoff and improve wildlife habitat. For more information the Regional Conservation Partnership Program grants, click here.

Donnelly has long advocated for conservation efforts that would benefit Indiana. Last year, he announced Indiana’s participation in four Regional Conservation Partnership Program projects that seek to improve water quality and announced his support for legislation that would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). With his support, Congress passed a three-year extension of that the President signed into law. LWCF strengthen efforts in Indiana to conserve parks, lands, and wildlife habitat for outdoor recreation.


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