Two Winneshiek County watersheds will receive a total of $540,000 in grant funding.

Yellow River Headwaters and Silver Creek are among 10 Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB) grants totaling $2.3 million, which will support projects that will improve water quality or reduce flooding in the state.

The grant funds will be matched by recipients, who will provide $6.5 million in funding from local communities to support these projects. As a result, $8.8 million will go to support conservation work in priority watersheds throughout the state. As a result, $8.8 million will go to support conservation work in priority watersheds throughout the state.

Other projects receiving grants include the Clear Creek Watershed, Honey Creed-Lindsey Creek-Dry Run Creek, Central Park Lake, West Fork Middle, Nodaway River, Gere Creek, Rathbun Lake, Mosquito Creek and Hurley Creek/McKinley Lake.

"These projects are a partnership between federal, state and local organizations that are committed to improving Iowa's water quality," said Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture.

"By supporting projects that address runoff and drainage, sedimentation, urban storm water, livestock runoff, streambed and bank stabilization and a number of other issues, these projects are focused on issues that directly impact the state's waterways and water quality."

The approved projects have already completed watershed assessments that identified critical water resource areas and will focus on implementing specific water quality or flood reduction improvements.

The projects will start after a grant agreement is signed between the applicant and the Watershed Improvement Review Board. Soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, counties, county conservation boards, cities, and local watershed improvement committees were eligible to apply. Individual projects could request up to $300,000.

WIRB received a total of $3 million this year and at least half of the funds must be used to support voluntary, science based water quality practices referenced in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

The Watershed Improvement Review Board is comprised of representatives from agriculture, drinking water and wastewater utilities, environmental organizations, agribusiness, and the conservation community along with two state senators and two state representatives. It is anticipated that another request for applications will be announced later this year.

For more information, contact Jerry Neppel at 515-281-3599.