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More than a Million Dollars Awarded in Conservation Grants

More than a Million Dollars Awarded in Conservation Grants
State funding will help local soil and water districts tackle unique problems.

Ted McKinney must have felt like the anonymous benefactor on the decades-old TV show where someone received a huge amount of money to do something they needed to do. He wasn't exactly anonymous, but the Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture reports that awarding Clean Water Indiana grants recently emphasized ISDA's commitments to working with partners across Indiana to develop more conservation practices.

Support for conservation: Ted McKinney, director of ISDA, recently announced over a million dollars in Clean Water Indiana grants to a number of Indiana soil and water conservation districts.

The Clean Water Indiana program is the successor of the T by 2000 program, Indiana's first-foray into supporting soil conservation efforts with state dollars. It dates to 1986. Part of the money for Clean Water Indiana is raised by a cigarette tax, dating back to when T by 2000 was established. The legislature also has appropriated additional monies in some years to go toward these grants.

Related: Vilsack Awards $15.7 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants

Those receiving grants were selected based on how unique the approach offered was, and if it involved sharing across county lines. The officials who decide where the money goes look favorably on projects where multiple counties join together to tackle a common problem. After all, soil erosion and water quality issues aren't limited by county boundaries.

The Indiana State Soil Conservation Board was also involved with ISDA in selecting recipients and awarding the grants.

More than a million dollars was awarded to 14 projects. Counties receiving money for projects, grouped by how they submitted their proposal, with the lead county first, are: Crawford, Harrison and Perry; Daviess, Martin and Pike; DeKalb and Steuben; Dubois, Gibson, Pike and Posey; Hendricks, Putnam, Morgan and Owen; Jay and Blackford; Jefferson, Clark, Jackson and Scott; Lawrence, Jackson and Martin; Miami, Wabash and Kosciusko; Marion and Hendricks; Newton, Jasper, Porter, Benton and Lake; Pike, Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick; Ripley and Switzerland; and Miami and Wabash.

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