watershed protection programs

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources oversees the state's watershed protection programs which serve to improve, restore and maintain the water quality of the state’s lakes, streams, wetlands and ground water in partnership with citizens. These programs provide information, planning and technical assistance to local groups and resource management agencies for watershed assessments, water quality reports, Total Maximum Daily Loads, pollution prevention, watershed restoration, water quality information and education, and lake and wetlands protection efforts.

Section 319 Funded Watershed Projects

Section 319 is a section of the Clean Water Act addressing the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source efforts. Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money that supports a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects.

The 319 Program uses federal and state funds to help cost share best management practices (grassed waterway, riparian area buffering, filter strips, buffers, alternative water sources, hoop and mono-slope barns, rotational grazing, wind breaks, etc.) aimed at improving water quality. Installation of best management practices benefits landowners through manure management and nutrient gain, soil health, water infiltration, erosion control and wildlife habitat through grass buffering.

Funding is available in these watershed projects for certain best management practices and their location to waterbodies. The coordinators do partner with NRCS, GFP, USFWS so other funds are also available.

Each project coordinator can assist in any potential funding available for conservation practices that benefit water quality.

For more information on any of the above projects or content, please contact:

  • Barry McLaury, Section 319 Nonpoint Source Coordinator, at 605.773.4254.