The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has identified five priority watershed areas to receive resources and support. Through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), agricultural producers will receive assistance for improving water quality across California. NRCS will be working to provide financial and technical resources to producers in the targeted areas.
“We see a positive impact – both here in California and across the country – when we partner with producers to deliver conservation practices to critical watersheds,” NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez said in a press release. “These focused partnerships allow us to maximize the delivery of our conservation efforts and achieve greater improvements to water quality, which benefits the participating producers, the public, and our nation’s natural resources.”
The Salt River will be assisted by the Eureka Field Office. The Upper Pescadaro Creek, Butano Creek, and Lower Pescadaro Cree will receive assistance from the Half Moon Bay Local Partnership Office. The Santa Maria and Templeton Field Offices will assist with Oso Flaco Creek Santa Maria. The Oxnard Field Office will be serving Matilija Creek, North Fork Matilija Creek, San Antonio Creek, Upper Ventura River, Coyote Creek, and Lower Ventura River. Las Posas Arroyo, Lower Conejo Arroyo, Beardsley Wash Oxnard, Revlon Slough-Callegas Creek, Town of Nyland – Frontal Pacific Ocean, and McGrath Lake will also be served by the Oxnard Field Office.
Since the NWQI was established in 2012 it has helped to reduce nitrogen loss by 11 million pounds and reduce sediment loss by nearly one million tons nationally. The program has also helped producers implement conservation practices on more than 960,000 acres. Priority watershed areas across the U.S. have experienced significant improvements from the NWQI, with some impaired streams being delisted. More than 80 percent of the improvements to water quality can be connected to agricultural conservation practices that have been implemented by farmers and ranchers.