Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NRCS to Hold Briefing on Mississippi River Basin Healthy Waters Initiative and Related RFP

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has scheduled a meeting to update conservation and agricultural partners on the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Waters Initiative (MRBI).  The briefing has been timed to coincide with the publication of the next MRBI Request for Proposals (RFP) (to be published in the Federal Register the week of December 19).  NRCS’s goal for the meeting is “to address changes made in this RFP, answer questions related to the RFP, and provide additional guidance on the monitoring and evaluation portion of the RFP.”

The briefing will occur on December 22, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (EST) in Room 5104 of the USDA-NRCS office at 14th and Independence Ave., S.W. (South Building), Washington, DC.  There will be an audio portion telephone number available for those who cannot attend in person (call-in number 1-888-469-1762; participant code: 7553244).  The following link can be accessed live during the meeting to view its PowerPoint presentations: ( Conference Number: PW2505711; Audience Passcode: 7553244).

Persons planning to attend the briefing in person should RSVP to Myron Taylor (Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative Coordinator) by email at

The draft agenda for the meeting (including NRCS staff leading the discussion) includes these topics:
  • Introduction and Goals - - David White, Chief
  • Mississippi River Basin Initiative Overview - - Tom Christensen, Regional Conservationist
  • RFP Review - - Myron Taylor
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy - - Howard Hankin
  • Questions and Answers - - Tom Christensen, Martin Lowenfish, Myron Taylor
  • Timeline and Next Steps - - Myron Taylor
MRBI is designed to bring together a variety of stakeholders within the Mississippi River Basin to voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff in watersheds where high nutrient loading is particularly problematic.  The conservation measures put into place also frequently improve wildlife habitat, and can often have the benefit of improving agricultural productivity.

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