County soil, water conservation district receives grant

Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District will share a $75,000 Clean Water Indiana grant with districts in Lawrence, Washington and Martin counties.

The purpose of the grant, announced Monday, is to find ways to protect drinking water, improve water quality and promote awareness of the impact of land use on water resources, according to a news release from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

Overall, 35 soil and water conservation districts in Indiana received $965,500 in Clean Water Indiana grants administered by the State Soil Conservation Board. The water quality-related erosion and sediment reduction program is funded through cigarette tax revenue.

Districts use the funds to implement conservation practices aimed at reducing non-point sources of water pollution through education, technical assistance, training and cost-sharing programs. Grant proposals were concentrated on unique partnerships, regional technical assistance, centralized office coordination of state, federal and local agencies and marketing conservation programs to landowners.

The districts are encouraged to work across county lines and to leverage local, state and federal resources to put more conservation on the land and bring more funds to Hoosier landowners.

Technical assistance for implementing the grants will come from the state department of agriculture’s Division of Soil Conservation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and many local businesses and conservation groups.