Flood plain program 3.25.09

Written by David Green.

Ohio land owners have until Friday to sign up for flood plain easements at their local USDA Service Center NRCS office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide up to $30 million to eligible landowners in Ohio through the flood plain easement component of its Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, State Conservationist Terry Cosby said. The funds will be used to restore frequently flooded land to its natural state and create jobs.

“We will be working with land owners who voluntarily agree to restore the flood plains to their natural condition by placing their land into easements,” Cosby said. “These easements will convert environmentally sensitive lands into riparian corridors and wooded bottomlands that are so vital for fish and wildlife habitat and to mitigate downstream flooding.”

Cosby said green jobs can be created in rural communities across Ohio when land owners establish conservation practices on the land entered into easement. Jobs will be created mostly in the engineering, biology and construction fields when trees and native grasses are planted and the hydrology of the flood plain is restored.

The funding, obtained from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, includes both technical and financial assistance to restore the easements. All funds will be spent on targeted projects that can be completed with economic stimulus monies. The goal is to have all flood plain easements acquired and restored within 12 to 18 months.

For information about EWP Program flood plain easements, visit http://www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov.

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    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
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    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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