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USDA grants target Mississippi River

Mississippi River (photo from American Rivers)
Mississippi River (photo from American Rivers)

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, MO – A new federal initiative is being launched to improve the overall health and water quality of the Mississippi River Basin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hand out $320 million in grants in 12 states, including Missouri and Illinois.

Kathleen Logan Smith with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment says there are a number of areas that need to be cleaned up. They include watersheds near Kansas City, Hannibal and down in the Missouri Boot-heel.

"Watersheds that contribute nitrogen and phosphorus to the Mississippi River, such that it gets to the Gulf (of Mexico), and if we address those, we can help reduce our impact and our footprint on that particular problem," Smith said.

In addition, Smith says the grants mean that there is now real hope that the areas can be cleaned up.

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