A New Tool to Help Reduce Runoff Pollution

Part of being environmentally friendly is working to protect our land and natural resources, especially from aggressive methods that can cause more harm than good.

Tilling land, especially land close to waterways, can have a negative impact on the water and the environment, by stripping the land of nutrients and causing runoff pollution that sends pesticides and fertilizer into our water.

But beginning today, two local groups are offering an alternative to farmers - a no-till drill. Thanks to the Hammond Capital Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) securing a grant from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Bayou Vermilion District and the St. Martin Parish Soil & Water District have each received a drill that will be available on a rental basis to livestock farmers.

Debuted during a press conference at the Bayou Vermilion District office today, the drills allow farmers to plant grass and seeds over the existing grass and soil without turning it over. This method preserves the land and seed while preventing runoff and erosion.

“There exists a need to conserve our natural resources and improve our water quality in south Louisiana,” RC&D President Don Ashford said in a press release.

"This kind of river pollution is known as nonpoint runoff, because it doesn't come from pipes. The reddish tint in the water is from that sediment, and after farmers use this no-till drill for awhile, there will be less sediment and the river won't look so red," said Jeff Durand of the St. Martin Parish Soil & Water District, and Durand Ponds & Farms.

An example of runoff pollution from tilled land, fertilizers and pesticides. Photo courtesy Bayou Vermilion District.

Representatives from Louisiana DEQ, BVD, RC&D, and the Lafayette and St. Martin Soil & Water Districts gathered at today's debut and braved the sun for a group photo.

BVD Operations Manager Tom Melancon was one of the many staff members present today and the real star of my post on BVD's cleanup efforts from this past January!

About the The Hammond Capital Resource Conservation & Development Council
The mission of the RC&D is to provide leadership in the wise use of our area resources and provide economic opportunities in Southeast, Louisiana. RC&D is a unique program that is led by local volunteer councils. RC&D is a way for people to work together to plan and carry out activities that will make their area a better place to live. Such activities lead to sustainable communities, prudent land use and the sound management and conservation of natural resources. Program objectives focus on “the quality of life” improvements achieved through natural resources conservation and community development.

About the Bayou Vermilion District
Since 1984, the Bayou Vermilion District has been worked to beautify, conserve and manage sites along the Vermilion ensuring the preservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural resources for the citizens of Lafayette Parish. The District manages boat, canoe and kayak launches, and public parks along the Bayou Vermilion including the Vermilionville Living History Museum. The District also removes trash and large debris from the bayou, works with local government to monitor water quality and water height of the Vermilion, and host a comprehensive watershed education exhibit for local and area students and teachers.

To inquire about renting the drills, contact Bayou Vermilion District.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bayou Vermilion District.

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