Four Indiana projects will share more than $25 million in federal funding through the newly-created Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The projects range from reducing harmful algae to providing conservation acreage for migratory birds. You can see the full list of projects by clicking here.

January 14, 2015

News Release

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today announced that Indiana will be participating in four conservation projects aimed at improving water quality through funding from the newly-created Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). In 2014, Donnelly sent letters of support for the state's applications for funding for three of these projects.

The RCPP was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill to promote coordination between the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its partners in order to give conservation assistance to landowners and producers. The projects come as part of the first round of awards announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today, which will fund over 115 high-impact projects across the country.

Donnelly said, “Hoosier farmers and producers have long been leaders in preserving the quality of our lands and waters, and I am proud to do all I can to support them in that effort through my work on the Senate Agriculture Committee. The 2014 Farm Bill was a good step forward in making sure our landowners have the tools they need to keep our waters clean, and the projects funded by the RCPP are a welcome addition. I look forward to seeing the impact these projects, and everything our landowners are already doing to preserve our natural resources, have on our lakes and rivers.”

Indiana's conservation projects include:

$1.5 million for a watershed-scale pairing of cover crops and two-stage ditches led by the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative that expects to demonstrate that the two practices when used in tandem can successfully meet or exceed goals for reducing farm runoff;

$17.5 million for the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative led by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development that aims to reduce harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie by assisting farmers with implementing conservation practices within the Lake Erie Basin, including the Maumee River Valley;

$6.8 million for the Michigan/Indiana St. Joseph River Watershed Conservation Partnership led by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; and

$500,000 for the Shorebird Conservation Acreage led by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences that aims to create wetlands in strategic locations to provide conservation acreage for many migratory bird species within the Mississippi River Valley.

A full list of projects funded through the first round of awards can be found here.

For information on how Senator Donnelly's office can assist cities, municipalities, and groups applying for federal grants, please visit http://www.donnelly.senate.gov/help/grants.

Source: Office of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly

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