PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Work that would help further restore several South Dakota watersheds has received endorsements from a key government panel.
The state Board of Water and Natural Resources gave formal support Thursday for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make more than $1.9 million of grants from the federal 319 program to three projects.
The panel recommended EPA grant $213,000 toward continuing the $4.3 million ninth phase of the Belle Fourche River watershed implementation project. Plans include more sprinkler irrigation, grazing management, riparian and bank-stability improvements, improved cropping and improving or relocating livestock feeding areas.
The second recommendation was EPA grant $200,000 for more work on the Northeast Glacial Lakes watershed improvement and protection project sponsored by Day County Conservation District.
The third recommendation was EPA grant $1.5 million for the second segment of the South Central watershed improvement project that the James River Water Development District sponsors. It aims to further address agricultural practices in Lewis and Clark Lake watershed; Lake Andes, Geddes and Platte Lake watersheds; impaired stretches of the Lower James River tributaries; and impaired reaches in the Vermillion watershed.
The state’s 319 review group met December 8 and agreed on the recommended amounts. Unlike many previous years, the three projects were the only applications received for the current funding round. EPA receives 319 money annually.
“There were no sad faces when we were over,” the review group’s chairman, Jay Gilbertson, told the state board. Gilbertson is executive director for East Dakota Water Development District based at Brookings.
The Glacial Lakes project also was recommended for $200,000 from the state clean-water fund.
Information about current 319 projects in South Dakota is here.