Partnership to help four watersheds in Louisiana

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Louisiana has about $1 million to fund four watersheds to improve water quality.

The Conservation Service is joining with the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help leverage money and efforts on the water-quality projects.

The three agencies chose relatively small areas to focus on so progress can be more measurable, said Sarah Haymaker, the Conservation Service’s acting state conservationist.

The state Department of Agriculture will provide manpower to work with farmers and forest landowners, allowing DEQ to focus on water-quality monitoring in the smaller areas.

In addition, the partnerships translates to additional money for DEQ, allowing more monitoring in the watersheds than normal, said Jan Boydstun, environmental scientist with DEQ.

The Conservation Service money will go toward an incentive program to help farmers and forest landowners put practices in place to reduce water-quality problems in the nearby watershed, including reducing fecal coliform that gets in the water or preventing erosion of soil into the water, Haymaker said.

Although applications for the program are taken at any time, the next batch of applications to be considered needs to be turned in by June 15, 2012.

Full Story: The Advocate

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