Mississippi River Basin Initiative
In order to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service recently offered the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI). Through this Initiative, NRCS and its partners will help producers in selected watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices and systems that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity.
This USDA-NRCS Initiative is currently available in all subwatersheds in the UBWC watershed and is an important part of the watershed action plan.
More information about this United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service program is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/mrbi/mrbi_overview.html
Conservation Effects Assessment Project
This USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) project in the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices and programs and develop the science base for managing the agricultural landscape for environmental quality. Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) findings will be used to guide USDA conservation policy and program development and help conservationists, farmers and ranchers make more informed conservation decisions. For more information about the national and regional CEAP Program go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/NRI/ceap/
In the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed the CEAP Project plays a very active and supportive role in watershed planning by conducting ecological and conservation practice assessments, monitoring water quality, and contributing professional expertise and experience to watershed partners and stakeholders. For more information on the USDA-ARS Soil Drainage Research Unit plans and activities in the watershed go to http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=36-04-00-00