- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest $30 million in 33 new projects and 40 existing ones to improve the Mississippi River Basin’s water quality.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a news release Tuesday, said the projects reduce loss of nutrients and sediment to waters that flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

In Louisiana, projects include Alligator Bayou in West Carroll Parish; Little Creek in West Carroll and Richland parishes; Lake Providence-Tensas Bayou in East Carroll Bayou and Upper Deer Creek in Franklin Parish.

The sole Mississippi project involves Beaver Bayou-Mound Bayou in Bolivar and Sunflower counties.

A 2013 USDA report shows that conservation work on basin cropland has cut the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus flowing to the Gulf by 18 and 20 percent, respectively.

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