Local News

Little Blue NRD receives Grant from Nebraska Environmental Trust

The Little Blue Natural Resources District will receive $135,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a project to improve the function of Rainwater Basin wetlands. This is the first-year award, with potential second- and third-year funding of $135,000 per year.
The “Watershed Restoration to Enhance Rainwater Basin Wetlands” grant will help restore the watersheds of Rainwater Basin wetlands by filling unneeded irrigation re-use pits.
Filling unused pits provides additional farmable acres for producers and also removes an obstacle from their farm field. In addition, it allows water that would otherwise collect in the pits to flow instead to nearby wetlands. Improved wetland function not only provides more habitat for the estimated 8.6 million waterfowl that migrate through south-central Nebraska each spring; it also benefits local residents and producers by contributing to groundwater recharge, which naturally occurs through Rainwater Basin wetlands.
The objective of the project is to fill at least 60 pits in high-priority watersheds. Emphasis will be placed on pits that have large storage capacity and are relatively close to affected wetlands.
The Little Blue NRD is a core member of the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, a public-private partnership working to improve and protect wetlands in the Rainwater Basin and Nebraska’s mixed-grass prairies.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust, using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, has provided over $195 million in grants to over 1,500 projects across the state, and has awarded over $24 million to 134 projects this year.

Leave a Reply