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State Funds Efforts To Help Curb Agricultural Runoff

Runoff

The state is doling out money to farmers who agree to curb agricultural runoff into the Wabash River.

The total grant money from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is $150,000 and will go through the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC).

The money will help pay for water quality measures such as erosion control, cover crops and fencing to keep livestock away from the waterways. Applications started yesterday and will be open until March.

Watersheds specialist at the WREC Talia Tittelsitz says this effort is part of a larger goal to reduce sediments and nutrients in waterways across the nation and down to the Gulf of Mexico. And, to avoid stricter regulations.

"I think the state of Indiana is trying to be proactive. They're doing everything they can to demonstrate that hey we can get in front of this problem and start reducing things on a voluntary basis," Tittelsitz says.

This is part of a larger effort the state has undertaken to reduce nutrients and sediment from getting into particular watersheds in Indiana.

In 2012, Indiana was named the worst state for chemicals released into waterways.

However, IDEM says that report used data that doesn't correspond with the standards of water quality assessments.

"While we believe Environment America's intention is to raise public awareness, the organization is not a water quality authority, and information it has published does not match with our understanding of the conditions of our waterways," Amy Smith, spokesperson for IDEM, said in a statement.Â

Here is the map of areas eligible for the grants.

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