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Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture
 
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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NORTHEY ENCOURAGES ELIGIBLE GROUPS TO APPLY FOR WATERSHED IMPROVEMENT FUNDSJanuary 30, 2009 Deadline to Apply for $1.5 Million in Watershed Improvement Grants

Contact: Tess Capps
515-281-8606 or 515-401-8282 (cell)

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality in the state.  The $1.5 million in grant funds are available to local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards and cities.

“Protecting and improving water quality is a fundamental role of the Department,” said Northey.  “The focus of these funds is to support those applications that have assessment and planning completed on a watershed basis and have the ability to document water quality results.  They are available to projects designed to address many issues that adversely impact water quality. ”

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff.  Individual projects can request up to $500,000 for up to three years.

All applications are due on Friday, January 30, 2009 and will be reviewed by the Watershed Improvement Review Board.  The Board is comprised of representatives from agriculture, drinking water and wastewater utilities, environmental organizations, agribusiness, the conservation community along with two state senators and two state representatives.

A funding announcement is expected by early April 2009 so projects can begin later in the spring of 2009.

Application materials can be downloaded from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/IWIRB.asp.  To receive more information or ask questions, contact Jerry Neppel at 515-281-3599.

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