Source: USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new initiative to improve water quality and the overall health of the Mississippi River Basin. The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative will provide approximately $320 million over the next four years for voluntary projects in priority watersheds located in 12 key states. Participation in this initiative, which will be managed by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, will be made available through a competitive process for potential partners at the local, state and national levels.

"The Obama administration is committed to taking bold steps with our state and local partners to clean up the entire Mississippi River Basin, a critical natural resource that provides drinking water for tens of millions of Americans," said Vilsack. "Industrial, municipal, residential and agricultural sources have all contributed pollutants to the waters of the Mississippi River Basin, and the MRBI will provide resources that will help us come together to address this issue."

Read the original news release.