Local environmental group receives $533K grant

CLEVELAND, S.C. — Save Our Saluda, an environmental advocacy group, recently received a $533K grant to help protect water quality in the Upper Saluda Watershed.

The grant, received from the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control, will allow SOS and partnering organizations to work in designated watershed areas to develop and implement projects aimed at reducing sediment runoff to the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake.

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"The North Saluda River and Saluda Lake are drinking water sources, support business and industry, and provide recreational opportunities to thousands of Upstate residents and visitors," said SOS president Melanie Ruhlman. "Sediment has filled in the lake and impacted the water quality and health of the river and lake, and [this] grant project has the potential to address the water quality issues through financing of soil conservation practices that help reduce sediment runoff."

The grant money will provide up to 90 percent cost share assistance to farmers and landowners within the watershed to help fund the installation of various best management practices to reduce sediment and improve water quality, including: cover crops, intercropping, field Borders/filter strips, vegetated riparian buffers, culvert/ditch/farm access road stabilization, sediment control basins, stream bank stabilization, stream crossings, livestock exclusion (fencing) with alternate water source, and heavy use area stabilization.

For additional information and/or application forms, visit: https://www.saveoursaluda.org/projects/ag-implementation-grant.html.

Funding for this cooperative project was provided in part by the SCDHEC with funds from the United States Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act and through additional partner support.

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