Delta Counties of Mississippi | September 30, 2011
Waterfowl, black bears, deer, fish and other species are getting a boost, thanks to funding for landowners to improve their habitats.
The Walton Family Foundation has awarded an $88,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with Delta Wildlife, Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management (F.A.R.M.) and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The funds will be used for the initial development of a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) for the Mississippi Delta through the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. In addition to improved animal habitat, Mississippi’s residents will also benefit, with improved water quality in the Yazoo River, lower Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.
The project is expected to involve more than 20 federal, state and private partners. Initial funds from the Walton Family Foundation will support completion of an environmental assessment, determining eligible management practices, identifying rental rates, and setting length of landowner agreements. The grant will also be leveraged to garner nearly $2 million in additional funds, with the ultimate goal of restoring 4,000 acres of bottomland hardwood and wetland habitat in the Mississippi Delta.
The Nature Conservancy is one of the world’s largest conservation organizations working to protect and improve lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy has a long history of fostering partnerships with organizations, businesses, communities and agencies to achieve its goals, and is proud to be working with the following organizations on this project.
An association of growers and landowners, Delta F.A.R.M. strives to implement recognized agricultural practices which conserve, restore, and enhance the environment of the Northwest Mississippi.
Similarly, Delta Wildlife strives to conserve, enhance, and restore native wildlife habitats, wildlife populations, and natural resources of the Delta and part-Delta counties of Northwest Mississippi.
MDEQ’s mission is to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of present and future generations of Mississippians by conserving and improving our environment and fostering wise economic growth through focused research and responsible regulation.
The Walton Family Foundation supports public/private partnership opportunities that contribute to both environmental and social improvements. Their environmental giving focuses on achieving lasting conservation in some of the world’s most important ocean and river systems to benefit both people and wildlife by aligning economic and conservation interests.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.