Lower Elkhorn NRD Receives Funding for Maple Creek Watershed Plan

Lower Elkhorn NRD Receives Funding for Maple Creek Watershed Plan


LINCOLN, Nebraska -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that five Natural Resources Districts in Nebraska received over $4.5 million in Watershed Flood Prevention and Operations (WFPO) funding. This funding will be directed towards developing watershed plans in the following NRDs:  the Upper Niobrara-White NRD in Chadron, the Middle Niobrara NRD in Valentine, the Central Platte NRD in Grand Island, the Lower Big Blue NRD in Beatrice, and the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) in Norfolk.

The LENRD received the WFPO funding to complete the Maple Creek Watershed Plan which will evaluate potential flood prevention, watershed protection, and agricultural water management projects.

Nebraska State Conservationist Craig Derickson said, “We look forward to working with these Natural Resources Districts on these new watershed projects. We saw how established watershed projects sprang into action last spring, following the bomb cyclone, reducing flood damages and protecting natural resources. These new projects plan to provide more benefits to more areas across Nebraska.”

LENRD General Manager, Mike Sousek, said, “This plan aims to reduce overall flood risk potential and support the largely agricultural economy in the Maple Creek Watershed.  With the help of the WFPO funding, this project will surpass previous planning efforts by focusing on the entire area, where previous studies have been smaller in scope.”

Four communities are located within the Maple Creek Watershed:  Leigh, Clarkson, Howells, and Nickerson.  The communities and area farmland have a long history of flood damages resulting from large scale watershed discharges and rainfall events.  This plan will help to further define the need for potential flood reduction projects to protect the watershed.