Press Release: Accepting Applications for Upper Pascagoula Water Quality Enhancement Project

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For Immediate Release

February 2, 2018

Contact:Laura T. Anderson, Public Affairs

Phone: (601)965-5205 ext. 144


USDA-NRCS Accepting Applications for 

Upper Pascagoula Water Quality Enhancement Project (UPWQEP)


Jackson, Miss. – The United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial assistance through the Upper Pascagoula Water Quality Enhancement Project (UPWQEP).  In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill: Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), and the Trustee Council Standard Operating Procedures for Implementation of the Natural Resource Restoration for the DWH Oil Spill, The Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group approved the UPWQE project for funding.


USDA-NRCS, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the Environmental Protection Agency are the implementing Trustees for the project. NRCS will lead the project implementation component of the project, and MDEQ and EPA will facilitate the water quality monitoring component of the project.


The purpose of the UPWQEP is to provide water quality improvement through the development and implementation of conservation plans and practices.  These conservation practices will reduce nutrient and sediment runoff into coastal waters.


The project will be implemented in the Chunky-Okatibbee watersheds.  The following counties are eligible:  Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba, and Newton.


To qualify for this project, an applicant must have control of land and be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance provisions.  Priority will be assigned based upon the location within the watershed prioritization zone, core practices, and proximity of conservation practices to impaired waterbodies.


Applications for all NRCS financial assistance programs are accepted on a continuous basis with specific sign-up deadlines being established to rank, contract and fund qualified tracts of land. The deadline to sign-up to be considered in the EQIP first ranking period is March 1, 2018.


Applicants can sign up at their local NRCS office. For more information, visit the NRCS website: .  To locate the nearest NRCS office visit