USDA Announces $50M for Watershed Restoration in Gulf Coast

Plan aims to improve water quality in the region

The Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) will spend up to $50M to help rehabilitate sixteen priority watersheds in five gulf states over a three-year period. The initiative is part of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, created by Executive Order by President Obama in response to degradation of watersheds within the region, punctuated by the Deep Horizon oil spill.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack remarked:

The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring our coasts are healthy and resilient. Helping agricultural producers voluntarily improve the health of their land will sustain and enhance the production of food and fiber, while also improving water quality upon which communities depend. This initiative also will benefit the estuaries, fisheries and wildlife so integral to jobs and the economy in the Gulf.

The expenditure will focus seven key river basins and sixteen watersheds across five states.

  • Alabama – Upper Fish River Watershed in the Weeks Bay (Fish River) River Basin
  •  Alabama/Florida – Canoe Creek Watershed and Sandy Hollow-Pine Barren Creek Watershed in the Escambia River Basin
  • Florida – Little Pine Barren Creek Watershed in the Escambia River Basin
  • Florida – Old Grassy Lake Watershed in the Middle Suwannee River Basin
  • Florida – Allon Lake Watershed in the Middle Suwannee River Basin
  • Florida – Blue Lake Watershed in the Middle Suwannee River Basin
  • Florida – Pickel Lake Watershed in the Middle Suwannee River Basin
  • Louisiana –Bayou Corne-Grand Bayou Watershed and Bayou St. Vincent-Little Grand Bayou Watershed, all in the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary
  • Louisiana – Bayou Grand Marais Watershed in the Mermentau River Basin
  • Mississippi – Rotten Bayou Watershed and Bayou LaTerre Watershed in the Jourdan River Basin
  • Texas – Kuy Creek–Guadalupe River Watershed, Guadalupe River–South Guadalupe River Watershed, and Hynes Bay–San Antonio Bay Watershed, all in the Lower San Antonio River/Guadalupe River Basins.