LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is to spend $32 million this year on wetland preservation and restoration projects in seven states along the Mississippi River.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that the biggest of the projects will devote $20 million to hardwood bottomland restoration along the Mississippi River between Wickliff, Ky. and Baton Rouge, La.
The targeted areas will be between the river's edge and the levee, rich land that floods regularly and can support a variety of wildlife.
Other projects include $6 million in Iowa along the North Raccoon River and $5 million in Arkansas for wetland restoration along several rivers in the state's east.
The program involves enlisting landowners who will allow work on their privately held land.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)