The Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA) will receive $228,500 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Development of Research and Demonstration Sites in the BGMA for Groundwater Nitrate Reduction” project. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 4, 2019 in Lincoln. This is the first year of award with a potential for 2nd and 3rd year funding totaling $209,500 and $209,500 respectively. The project is one of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 85 were new applications and 32 are carry-over projects.
Located in northeastern Nebraska, the BGMA was formed collaboratively between the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (NRD), Upper Elkhorn NRD, Lower Niobrara NRD, Lewis and Clark NRD, and Department of Environmental Quality to address high nitrate levels in the area. Since its formation in 2013, the BGMA has been dedicated to increasing education of agricultural producers and increasing the implementation of best management practices. To further this effort, the BGMA has partnered with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension and the Nebraska Water Center, part of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska to design the proposed project. This project will develop three advanced nitrogen and water management research and demonstration sites, conduct annual field days and educational meetings, and provide an analysis of the success of various water and nitrogen application methods utilized. Through innovative education and demonstration, this project will encourage widespread adoption of improved practices, positively impacting ground and surface water quality and soil management. This project is a vital step forward in stabilizing, and eventually reducing, nitrate levels within the BGMA as experts in natural resource management, with the help of NET, target this serious issue.
The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.