INDIANAPOLIS –The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the State Soil Conservation Board (SSCB) recently awarded $965,500 in Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Grants to 35 Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) across the state. The goals of the project are to seek ways to protect drinking water, improve water quality, and assist Hoosiers in gaining awareness and knowledge regarding the impact of land use on precious water resources.
The CWI Grants Committee selected the following applications for full funding:
CWI Grants provide financial assistance to SWCDs to implement conservation practices aimed at reducing non-point sources of water pollution through education, technical assistance, training and cost-sharing programs. Projects funded by the SSCB demonstrate cooperative conservation efforts by connecting their local business plans to the statewide Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP) Strategic Plan. SWCDs were encouraged to work together across county lines and to leverage local, state and federal resources to put more conservation on the land and bring more funds home to Hoosier landowners.
Statewide, this round of CWI projects brings together approximately 100 local organizations, local units of government and communities, as well as state and federal agencies, to showcase what a difference Hoosier conservationists can make when given the resources. Proposals were concentrated on unique partnerships; regional technical assistance; centralized office coordination of state, federal and local agencies; and marketing conservation programs to landowners.
“Our land and water are our state’s most precious natural resources. These grants showcase the benefits of collaborative efforts to conserve a critical piece of our Hoosier environment and economy,” said ISDA Director Ted McKinney. “We are committed to working with our partners to implement more conservation practices and get the necessary funding into the hands of Indiana landowners as quickly as we can.”
Technical assistance for implement the grants will come from district staff, ISDA’s Division of Soil Conservation (ISDA-DSC), the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and many local businesses and conservation groups. Several of the grants will help SWCDs and local land users accelerate the implementation of other federal and state conservation programs as well.
The SSCB administers the Clean Water Indiana Fund, which is a water quality-related erosion and sediment reduction program that is derived from a portion of cigarette tax revenue (IC 6-7-1-28.1). The SSCB also provides guidance and assistance to the state’s soil and water conservation district leaders as they provide local leadership in the protection of Indiana’s soil and water resources. More information about the SSCB can be found at http://in.gov/isda/2361.htm.
Further questions or comments regarding the Clean Water Indiana Program may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.