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Local Watershed Project Selected to Apply for Grant to Improve Water Quality


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment was selected as a finalist eligible to apply for a grant through EPA’s national Targeted Watersheds Grant Program to improve the health of the Marais des Cygnes Basin.

“Protecting our nation’s watersheds is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew. “This project joins 15 others selected to receive more than $13 million to improve water quality.”

The Marais des Cygnes River Basin is south of the Kansas City metropolitan area and is home to more than 125,000 Kansas and Missouri residents. The river basin is experiencing urbanization, population increase, and land use shifts, placing strains on water quality and supply.

The proposed project will improve water quality through the implementation of innovative market-based water quality protection and education activities through stakeholder leadership. The project also will improve water quality through the reduction of nutrients and fecal coliform bacteria.

The project builds existing bi-state partnerships, completes a monitoring program, develops and executes landowner and local leaders’ training programs for proactive bi-state basin cooperation. It also integrates funding to install low-impact development, forestry and livestock demonstration sites, and protection measures identified in existing watershed plans.

The Marais des Cygnes Basin includes the Marais des Cygnes, Marmaton, and Little Osage rivers that are vital resources to residents in 13 counties throughout east-central Kansas (Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Coffey, Crawford, Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Osage, and Wabaunsee) and four west- central Missouri counties (Barton, Bates, Cass, and Vernon). The basin encompasses 3,230 square miles in Kansas and 453 square miles in Missouri.

EPA initiated the Targeted Watersheds Grant Program in 2002 to encourage successful community-based approaches to protect and restore the nation’s watersheds. Watershed health is important to providing clean, safe water where Americans live, work and play. Since 2003, more than $40 million has been provided to 46 watershed organizations.


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