A second sign-up period is now open for landowners to apply for funding to put toward watershed improvement projects in the Upper Silver Creek watershed. The Upper Silver Creek watershed is the 120,000-acre area that drains to Silver Creek above the Madison-St. Clair county line. The watershed is mostly located in Madison County, but also includes areas in Macoupin and Montgomery counties.
The Upper Silver Creek Watershed Plan, developed with assistance from local watershed stakeholders, is a roadmap to addressing water quality and flooding problems in a strategic way in the watershed. The plan recommends several voluntary practices for individuals, communities, and counties to implement across the watershed.
An Illinois EPA grant awarded to HeartLands Conservancy in 2016 is designed to help implement certain best management practices recommended in the watershed plan. HeartLands Conservancy is seeking landowners to sign up to install these practices, using the new funds as a cost share.
Eligible projects are grassed waterways, ponds, terraces, and water and sediment control basins. These projects will improve water quality and reduce the impacts of local or downstream flooding to some extent.
The first sign-up period in October 2016 yielded upwards of 40 applications, several of which were for the same project. It is hoped that this second sign-up period will attract applicants who can use the remainder of the funds toward highly effective ponds and other projects.
The grant will reimburse a portion of construction costs spent on selected projects.
Not all projects can be funded. Projects will be selected based on their pollutant reduction, cost, stormwater management impact, and other criteria.
This second sign-up period closes on Feb. 28.
For more information about the cost share program, contact project manager Janet Buchanan at HeartLands Conservancy at 618-566-4451, ext. 25 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.