Freshwater Conservation in Mississippi

Protecting our Pristine Places

Our work begins and ends with water. That is why it is important for us to protect our most vulnerable resource: our waterways. Learn how we work with Mississippi landowners to ensure the future of our waterways.

Scott Lemmons, the Freshwater Program’s Director at The Nature Conservancy of Mississippi, has over 12 years experience working with Delta landowners and farmers to improve land management techniques and put conservation on the ground.  He is now using that experience at TNC's Mississippi Chapter to help landowners and farmers in the Mississippi Delta and along the Big Black River, one of the primary tributaries of the Mississippi River.  Areas along the Mississippi River and the Big Black River are experiencing bank erosion and sediment/nutrient runoff that affects not only the water quality of the Mississippi River system and the Gulf of Mexico where it empties, but our farmers' bottom line.  That is why Scott is working hard to provide management tools that are tailored specifically for Mississippi farmers.  We know the problem can't be solved with conservation alone, but requires a comprehensive approach that is both earth- and business-friendly. 

Opportunities for Delta Counties Landowners

By working with USDA, landowners, and private donors, Scott brought to Mississippi an innovative conservation easement program that has some landowners in our Mississippi Delta counties excited.  Those with agricultural acres in Bolivar, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Washington, and Yazoo Counties can receive up to $300 per newly enrolled acre in the first year of the Conservation Restoration Enhancement Program, then $100 per acre a year for the next 14 years.  TNC helps landowners identify developed land that is running off into our Delta water systems, then restores this acreage to wetland and native bottomland hardwoods so that a natural buffer is created between the water and development.  This saves the landowners soil while keeping sediment out of the river. 

Opportunities for Big Black River Basin Landowners

As one of the primary tributaries for the Lower Mississippi Delta, the Big Black River acts as a major source of sediment runoff for the Mississippi Delta.  Because a number of its tributaries have either been channelized or straightened to drain developed lands more efficiently, the velocity of the water flows too fast, preventing sediment from settling out before it reaches the main river channel.  Scott is working to identify areas in the river basin that need our attention and helping these landowners to stabilize the river and stream banks, and implement conservation easements between agriculture fields and tributaries, to prevent future runoff.  

Scott Lemmons is the Freshwater Programs Director at The Nature Conservancy of Mississippi. If you'd like to get involved or find out more information about the Freshwater Programs, contact Scott at 601-709-4954 or at

Managing Freshwater Resources

Buttahatchie River

Other Freshwater Projects


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