CRP Incentives for Targeted Sediment Loading Reduction
Projects and Practices 2014
The primary pollutant being targeted with this project are Sediment yields delivered to the Turtle Creek and ultimately the Cedar River. Turtle Creek is an impaired water body due to excessive sediment being delivered to the stream. The implementation plan for the Cedar River Basin identifies several areas in the watershed with different contributing factors for protection. In the targeted areas of this initiative, the sediment is coming from overland flow and getting into the waterway. This project would utilize the existing CRP program and design standards for eligibility of payment. This ensures that the project is designed to act as a fully operational filter and catchment area for overland flow of sediment, and hold those suspended solids in the grass buffer, prior to its delivery into the waterway.
This project resulted in estimated reductions of 1,200 tons of sediment per year and 54 fewer tons of soil lost annually.
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS
In the battle to make real progress in sediment reduction to Turtle Creek, buffer strips are on the defensive front lines, holding the land at its most critical point. Grass strips along waterways have long provided a catchment area for agricultural field runoff. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has developed guidance and performance standards that utilize the maximum amount of benefit when installed through that program. In recent years, the Turtle Creek Watershed residents have faced a difficult decision over whether or not to incorporate grass buffers on their farms. Many are even converting existing contracts back to crop land.
This project targets the area identified as contributing the most sediment to Turtle Creek Watershed and will provide financial incentives to secure the necessary acres to establish buffer strips in this highly productive agricultural area. The district is proposing a $50 incentive payment for each acre and each year of CRP buffer enrolled in the targeted priority subwatersheds. The payment would act as an upfront incentive. This is a surgical strategy that targets the 20% of the Total Maximum Daily Load basin identified as the heaviest sediment loading to Turtle Creek and the Cedar River.