Tag Archives: agricultral conservation practices

Newly Formed Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance To Address Nutrient Pollution

In late August, the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) was launched by agricultural and environmental stakeholders, including Iowa Corn, Iowa Pork, and Iowa Soybean associations. These groups are looking to accelerate the pace and scale of quantifiable water quality improvements and to advance the success of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy by facilitating farmers’ engagement […]

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Agencies Provide Funds to Combat Harmful Algal Blooms

On Sept. 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) will provide almost $12 million to federal and state agencies to target harmful algal blooms (HABs) in western Lake Erie. The funding builds upon the GLRI’s ongoing efforts to reduce algal blooms and will be made available to Ohio, […]

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New York Provides $13.8 Million to Improve Water Quality on Agricultural Lands

On June 25, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $13.8 million in funding to help more than 200 farms across New York implement enhanced soil and water conservation practices, which in turn will protect New York State’s waterways. These competitive grants were awarded to 32 county soil and water conservation districts, and were provided […]

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Newly Authorized Agriculture Conservation Practices Could Negatively Affect Water Quality

In late April, at the same time it released the draft Waters of the U.S. rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published an interpretive rule that went into effect immediately. The rule clarifies the scope of agriculture, forestry, and ranching exemptions to dredge-and-fill permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. It […]

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USDA to Provide Assistance to Improve Water Quality

On May 21, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $33 million in assistance to farmers and ranchers. The money will be used on conservation improvements that will enhance water quality in 174 watersheds. The funding is being provided through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), administered by […]

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Buffers Help Maintain Clean Waterways

Riparian buffers can help prevent pollution in agricultural runoff from reaching waterways. According to the Environmental Working Group, Minnesota is a national leader in recognizing buffers for this purpose. However, based on a new study by the group, only 18% of the state’s waterways in agricultural areas are fully protected by the required 15-m (50-ft) […]

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Delaware Governor Announces Clean Water Initiative

In Delaware, 377 water bodies are impaired, and 30 state waterways are not fishable. However, Gov. Jack Markell announced a plan March 4 to pay for stormwater, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure upgrades. The initiative, Clean Water for Delaware’s Future, would impose a “clean water fee” on residential, commercial, and industrial property owners. Over the […]

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Source Water Collaborative Releases Partnership Building Toolkit

In mid-January, the Source Water Collaborative — a group of 25 national organizations united in protecting America’s drinking water at the source — released a new online toolkit. The guide helps to “facilitate partnerships to protect drinking water sources through agriculture, conservation practices, stormwater and forest management.” With the toolkit, users can obtain guidance on […]

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Federal Agencies Pledge $34 Million for Agriculture Conservation Efforts in Drought-Stricken California

California is in its worst drought in the state’s 160 years of recordkeeping, and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared a Drought State of Emergency on Jan. 17. In response, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced funding for water delivery agencies and agricultural producers in early February. The agencies […]

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WRI Assesses Mississippi River Basin Initiative

On Jan. 7, the World Resources Institute (WRI) released the first in a three-part series of reports focused on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Conservation Service (NRCS) Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI). The report provides an assessment of the program, which started in 2009. The program is still in its initial implementation phase, so […]

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