NRCS Announces Water Quality Conservation in Chambers Creek Watershed

Source: NRCS Texas

State Conservationist Salvador Salinas announced the launch of a new Water Quality Initiative committed to improving impaired waterways in Texas. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will manage the initiative by making $2 million in financial assistance available to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in the Chambers Creek watershed above Richland-Chambers Reservoir in the Trinity River Basin.

"The Water Quality Initiative will further NRCS' partnership efforts to improve water quality using voluntary actions on private lands," Salinas said. "This initiative is a focused approach in areas facing significant natural resource challenges. It bolsters the positive results of landscape conservation initiatives NRCS and its partners already have underway."

The NRCS will work with their partners in this initiative, the Tarrant Regional Water District, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Navarro and Ellis-Prairie Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Through this effort, eligible producers in the watershed in Ellis and Navarro Counties will invest in voluntary conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities. Using funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to producers for implementing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces in watersheds with impairments where federal investments can make a difference in improving water quality.

"American farmers are good stewards of the environment, especially when they have the tools they need to protect or improve fish and wildlife habitat and water quality," said NRCS Chief Dave White. "We look forward to collaborating with producers in key watersheds to help them have a positive impact on streams with impaired water quality."

The Chambers Creek watershed has been selected as an area for concentration because of turbidity, siltation, dissolved oxygen, and high nutrient levels. It has also been targeted because it has great potential for addressing the identified problems.

NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. All applications for funding consideration during this fiscal year must be received by June 15, 2012. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results and begin developing contracts with selected applicants.

Interested parties can apply for assistance at the USDA NRCS Service Center in Corsicana for Navarro County residents or Waxahachie for those living in Ellis County. The address for the Corsicana field office is 4321 Highway 22 and the phone number is 903 874-5131 ext 3. In Waxahachie, the office is located at 1822 FM 66, Suite 101 and the phone number is 972 937-2660 ext. 3. NRCS field personnel will gladly discuss your farming or ranching operation and objectives at your convenience to explain more about the program opportunities that may interest you. NRCS provides assistance to private landowners and operators free of charge and there is no obligation to participate in this program.

Since 1935, NRCS' nationwide conservation delivery system works with private landowners to put conservation on the ground based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests. For more information about the Water Quality Initiative and NRCS' programs, initiatives and services in Texas, visit us online at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.

Map of the selected watershed - Chambers Creek above Richland-Chambers Reservoir(PDF; 421 Kb)

Contact

Mark Habiger, 254-742-9881

Dee Ann Littlefield, 254-742-9800