Embarras River Watershed plan, nutrient work focus of meeting

The watershed covers eight east-central counties and has been a state priority watershed for several decades.

By Kay Shipman

Efforts to update management plans for the Embarras River Watershed will be discussed from 10 a.m. to noon June 18 at the Greenup Municipal Building, Greenup.

The watershed covers eight east-central counties and has been a state priority watershed for several decades. But the watershed’s current plan expires in 2021, according to Jennifer Woodyard, University of Illinois Extension watershed outreach associate, based in Effingham.

“Our end goal is to help farmers reduce nutrient losses and meet the goals of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy,” Woodyard said.

Having a current watershed plan in place increases the likelihood that work to implement nutrient conservation and best management practices would receive funding and grants, such as a section 319 grant through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Woodyard noted.

The watershed efforts have received “excellent support and involvement from county Farm Bureaus and Soil and Water Conservation Districts,” she said.     

Lauren Lurkins, Illinois Farm Bureau director of natural and environmental resources, explained IFB is financially supporting the watershed’s 319 grant application to the IEPA.

“We’re happy to carry out the vision of the state Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and facilitating implementation in a priority watershed as designated by the IEPA,” Lurkins said. “Farmers are involved in every county Farm Bureau in the watershed. All the pieces are coming together to get conservation on the land.”

Meeting participants will hear from Chris Davis, manager of IEPA’s watershed section; Greg Sherwood, past Embarras River Management Association watershed coordinator; and Jeff Boeckler of Northwater Consulting.

To register, visit go.illinois.edu/embarraswatershed or contact Woodyard at 217-347-7773 or woodyar2@illinois.edu.

icon_