The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the State Soil Conservation Board have awarded grants to 92 soil and water conservation districts throughout Indiana. More than $900,000 has been distributed through the Clean Water Indiana program.
The ISDA says the money will "help strengthen Indiana’s conservation efforts and address natural resource concerns at the local level." The CWI program is funded by a portion of the state cigarette tax and aims to reduce water quality-related erosion and sediment.
The SSCB provides an annual match of up to $10,000 to SWCDs that receive funding from a local governmental entity.
"I applaud our local leaders for their support of Indiana’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which continue to play a vital role in protecting our state’s soil and water resources," said Ted McKinney, ISDA Director. "With their help, land users have been able to effectively implement conservation practices voluntarily for the past 75 years, so we have a conservation model that is working in Indiana."
A new law signed by Governor Pence allows SWCDs merge and share resources by increasing the state’s matching grant based on the number of merging districts. The law goes into effect July 1.
"By eliminating this barrier and providing additional resources, Indiana’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts will be better equipped to improve overall water quality and soil health across the state," said Jordan Seger, director of ISDA’s Division of Soil Conservation. "Since our natural resources are critical to the future of agriculture, we must do everything we can to conserve them by assisting land users with their voluntary conservation efforts."
Click here for more information on the Clean Water Indiana program.