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Oklahoma Joins In Conservation Program

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry signs a $20.6 million conservation agreement with the federal government that authorities say will reduce pollutants, improve water quality and enhance wildlife along lakes and waterways in northeastern Oklahoma.

The partnership will pay landowners in the region to develop strips and buffers along waterways to filter water runoff, stabilize stream banks, shade channels and improve drinking water and aquatic and wildlife habitat along Spavinaw Lake, the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller.

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, funded 80% by the federal government, will address environmental issues in a five-county region where agricultural activity has raised questions about water quality in recent years.

Deputy U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Connor says the project will create up to 9,000 acres of filter strips and riparian buffers that will improve the quality of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of residents in the Tulsa area.
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