Feds, KY agencies announce water quality plan
February 10, 2015 by Press release
February 10, 2015 – Kentucky will receive $4.4 million in investments over the next five years through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
This first RCPP project in Kentucky focuses on improving water quality by reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads entering water bodies and waterways. Kentucky is one of 12 states participating in the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force working to coordinate actions for nutrient management within this large watershed.
The RCPP is a part of a nationwide project that includes 115 high-impact projects across all 50 states totaling $372.5 million. The project is designed to improve soil health, water quality and water use efficiency, wildlife habitat and other related natural resources on privately held farms and ranches. The program provides multiple agencies opportunities to work together toward the common goal of improving water quality.
The United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Department of Natural Resources, Kentucky Division of Conservation, and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment jointly announced they are leveraging their financial and technical capabilities, and more than doubling the reach of the program through their contributions. The partners in RCPP will be making a concentrated effort to provide agricultural producers with much needed technical and financial assistance to address on-farm water quality issues.
“The partnership will provide the agriculture sector specific education and outreach to producers regarding water quality issues they face every day,” said James Roe of the Kentucky Division of Water Nonpoint Source program
Producers will be provided with technical and financial assistance in developing Agriculture Water Quality Plans and Nutrient Management Plans for their farming operations, in addition to the on-the-ground implementation of conservation practices. The Kentucky Division of Water will be working with the partnership to provide matching funds through its Nonpoint Source Grant program.
According to the Division of Water’s 2012 Integrated Report 1,283 stream miles are impaired by nutrients in whole or part from agricultural sources. The Regional Conservation Partnership Project is a significant effort toward the implementation of the agriculture component of both the Division of Water’s Nonpoint Source Management Plan and Statewide Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“The RCPP is a great opportunity to improve Kentucky’s waterways”, said Roe. “It will result in more farmers having Agriculture Water Quality and Nutrient Management Plans. Implementation of those plans means less animal waste, nutrients, pesticides, and sediment getting into Kentucky’s waters.”