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USDA To Unveil Priority Watersheds

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Watershed restoration efforts may affect farms like this one near Salisbury, Maryland.
Emily Nauman
Watershed restoration efforts may affect farms like this one near Salisbury, Maryland.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Three watersheds in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania have been chosen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as pilot projects for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

After President Barack Obama ordered the federal government to take more seriously the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, the EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture have taken a closer look at how farms can reduce runoff.

USDA got $700 billion to do this in the last farm bill. The government also picked three priority watersheds.

A watershed is an area that drains into a river or stream. In each watershed, a farm was picked as a model of innovative practices to reduce pollution. That includes things such as planting special cover crops to absorb extra fertilizer, or just keeping cattle out of streams; in some cases, farmers have even used animal waste to generate electricity.

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