Usda Provides $10.7 Million To Restore Illinois Wetlands
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is contributing $10.7 million to help restore a vast area of Illinois wetlands through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and a partnership between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and The Nature Conservancy (Conservancy). WRP is a voluntary conservation program that offers landowners the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their property.
Called the Emiquon Project, the 7,000-acre tract of land along the Illinois River in Fulton County is one of the largest floodplain restoration projects in the country. The WRP project will restore approximately 6,400 acres of wetlands.
USDA funds will be used for easements, restoration activities and administrative costs. NRCS will develop a restoration plan in collaboration with the Conservancy as well as monitor and manage the site for the next 30 years.
A national memorandum of understanding between NRCS and the Conservancy formalizes the working partnership and establishes a framework to collaborate on mutually-agreed upon activities.
Primary purposes of the agreement are to protect or restore plants, animals and natural communities on private lands; promote the gathering and sharing of scientific data and research; and foster demonstration projects to test promising new conservation approaches.