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Farmers in eligible watersheds can sign up for funding by March 18 and April 15.

January 18, 2016

2 Min Read

Acting State Conservationist Eric Gerth announced the continuation of the National Water Quality Initiative in Illinois for fiscal year 2016. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will manage the initiative by making financial and technical assistance available to farmers and forest landowners to improve water quality in priority watersheds.


The National Water Quality Initiative was offered in three impaired Illinois watersheds starting in 2012 and then in 2013, two additional watersheds were added in Vermilion County. The priority watersheds cover more than 107,000 acres and all five watersheds have been identified as impaired with degraded water quality issues. Eligible producers with concerns, such as soil erosion and water quality, can apply for funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for implementing conservation practices such as cover crops, grassed waterways, terraces, and water and sediment control basins.

NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis. Illinois farmers and forest landowners in the five watersheds have two application cutoffs to submit an application and compete for funding in 2016.  The two application cutoffs are March 18, 2016 and April 15, 2016.

Illinois Priority Watersheds – NWQI 2016

• Douglas Creek Watershed - 14,300 acres in St. Clair County

• Crooked Creek-Bon Pas Watershed - 33,266 acres in parts of Richland, Wabash, Edwards and • Lawrence Counties

• Lake Vermilion Watershed - 17,656 acres in Vermilion County

• Lake De Revey Watershed – 19,168 acres in Vermilion County

• Painter Creek Watershed – 22,775 acres in Vermilion County

To apply, contact your local NRCS Field Office; for For more information about the National Water Quality Initiative and NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Illinois, visit us online at

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