State awards $900,000 for conservation projects

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Twenty-five soil and water conservation districts across Indiana will receive nearly $900,000 in grants awarded by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the State Soil Conservation Board.

The awards are meant to help fund conservation projects designed to improve water quality.

“We’re starting to see a significant reduction in the amount of sediment and nutrients … entering Indiana’s waterways, as a result of Clean Water Indiana,” said Melissa Rekeweg, the agriculture department’s interim director. “There is still much work to be done to improve our water quality, and these grants are critical to that effort.”

The Clean Water Program is funded in part by the state’s cigarette tax revenue. It was established to provide financial assistance to landowners and conservation districts, as an effort to reduce non-point sources of water pollution. The funding pays for projects small and large, such as installing a filter strip; planting cover crops; or hiring staff to provide technical assistance, education and training.

The following districts received grants. The lead county on the project is listed first, followed by the partnering counties, if applicable, in parentheses:

■ Allen County: $24,300

■ Blackford County (Adams, Jay, Wells counties): $154,500

■ Dearborn County (Ohio County): $107,000

■ Dubois County (Daviess, Martin counties): $95,250

■ Fulton County: $55,500

■ Jefferson County (Clark County): $66,990

■ Knox County (Pike, Sullivan, Dubois, Daviess, Warrick counties): $52,500

■ Marion County: $60,000

■ Pike County (Gibson County): $84,000

■ Rush County (Shelby County): $4,912

■ Steuben County: $25,750

■ Vanderburgh County (Gibson, Pike, Posey, Warrick counties): $95,000

■ Wabash County: $22,300

■ Warrick County (Posey, Vanderburgh counties): $49,032•

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