Dayton Announces $350M in Federal Funds for Water Quality

Will provide direct funding to MN farmers, while working to protect and improve waters in 54 Minnesota counties

ST. PAUL – Governor Mark Dayton, today, January 17, signed an agreement with the United State Department of Agriculture, to secure $350 million in federal funding to protect and improve waters in 60,000 acres across 54 Minnesota counties.

The new state-federal effort, the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), will target areas of southern and western Minnesota facing significant water quality challenges, to protect and improve natural resources.

The Minnesota CREP is a five-agency effort, led by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and including the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The project will be completed in partnership with USDA – Farm Service Agency.

“Minnesota is at a critical juncture in addressing our state’s serious water quality challenges,” Dayton stated. “Through this landmark agreement, Minnesota will be better able to protect and improve our waters for our families, natural habitat, and out future. Clean water is everyone’s challenge, and everyone’s responsibility.”

Through Minnesota CREP, farmers and agricultural landowners can voluntarily enroll land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve easement program to create buffers, restore wetlands, and protect wellheads for drinking water. Those who voluntarily participate in the program will be eligible for $350 million in federal funds for direct payments to farmers.

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