USDA allocates $30M to protect, restore wetlands

The Obama administration announced plans Thursday to spend $30 million to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands in six states.

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The grant funding, which will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) program, will go to support projects in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee.

Through the program, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes partner USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and protect and restore wetlands that private landowners have voluntarily enrolled in easement projects.

"Through locally led partnerships like these, USDA is targeting conservation in the places that make sense, allowing us to address local concerns," Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE said in a news release. "These projects will improve water quality, prevent flooding, enhance wildlife habitat and meet increasing conservation challenges on over 19,000 acres of wetlands."