Spoon River Watershed Landowners Can Cash in on $1 Million

Cost-share assistance ranges from 70% to 100% for stream bank repairs. Compiled by staff 

Published on: Jan 2, 2006

If you own land in the Cedar Creek Watershed and have a problem with stream bank erosion, you might be able to cash in on some of the $1 million available for repair work.

A small, sub-watershed within the Spoon River Watershed has been selected as a demonstration site for stream bank stabilization solutions.  

Landowners in and along the Cedar Creek tributaries can apply for special EQIP contracts for 70% to 100% in cost-share funds to repair damaged stream banks.

Interested landowners in Fulton, Knox, Warren and a small part of McDonough Counties can apply now for this special EQIP project at county NRCS offices.

EQIP applications for assistance in stabilizing stream banks will also be accepted from any producer in the larger Spoon River Watershed. Funds not used to restore the Cedar Creek tributaries will provide cost-share money to top-ranked applications from the entire Spoon River Watershed. These special EQIP applications will only be competing with other applications within the Spoon River.

Stream bank erosion along the Spoon River--and most rivers throughout Illinois--is a serious problem that plagues many private landowners. Soil and moving water collide along a stream bank, and erosion is usually the end result. Stream bank stabilization techniques can be installed that reduce this erosion and keep soil where it belongs.

"We’ve selected tributaries of Cedar Creek, known to locals as "Indian Creek," "Little Negro Creek," "Slug Run," and "Picayune Creek" as a concentrated area where we can demonstrate the real power of low-cost stream bank stabilization measures that work on typical Illinois streams," explains Ivan Dozier, assistant state conservationist with NRCS.

The types of stream bank solutions considered for the demonstration project include "peaked stone" toe protection that runs along the length of the stream, stream barbs and bendway weirs, and small riffle structures. All projects may also include re-shaping of the bank and installation of protective vegetation.

The project is a cooperative venture of the NRCS, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Spoon River Ecosystem Partnership, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.  

"Because the area falls within the Illinois River Watershed and we have other state agencies involved, there’s an extra incentive for landowners who either already have a permanent CREP easement on the property they’re considering or landowners who are entering a new CREP contract," adds Dozier. 

Landowners with an existing permanent CREP easement can modify that easement and have eligible stream bank stabilization costs covered at 100% rate. Those in Cedar Creek Watershed willing to sign a new CREP contract can receive a 90% cost-share rate.  

Contact your local county NRCS office for additional information and to sign up for an EQIP contract.