The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 14, 2013

USDA, Coca-Cola reach water deal

CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Coca-Cola signed a five-year agreement Friday to restore watersheds that have been damaged or altered by development, wildfires and agriculture as part of an initiative to slow runoff and replenish groundwater on federal lands.

Such efforts are increasingly important to corporations and farmers who rely on water and to tens of millions of people whose drinking water originates in the national forest system, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. But federal budget cuts and the wide scope of the problem have the USDA turning to partnerships with nonprofit groups and corporations for help.

“We need to look creatively at ways to leverage our resources or attract outside resources,” said Vilsack, who along with Coca-Cola Americas President Steve Cahillane will announce the partnership at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie outside of Chicago. A wetland at the 18,000-acre site is being restored by removing old agricultural drain tiles that divert almost 14 million gallons per year into waterways — and eventually down the Mississippi River — rather than allowing it to soak back into the ground.

It’s one of six projects that Coca-Cola has helped fund through a pilot program with the USDA’s U.S. Forest Service over the past two years, said Chris Savage, assistant director of the agency’s Watershed, Fisheries and Wildlife office. Others included restoring a wetland in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains that helps supply water to San Francisco and restoring the landscape along Colorado’s South Platte River that was devastated by fire a decade ago.

Under the new agreement, the company and the Forest Service will work with two nonprofit foundations — the National Forest Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation — to identify projects on federal lands. Corporate funding will go through the foundations, which also contribute money to the projects, officials said. There is no specific amount committed to the projects, but Vilsack said he expects “millions” will be spent.

Text Only
Local News
  • Digital checkout limit increased

    April 16, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston council hears water project update

    Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, updated city council members Tuesday on the continuing progress of the ground and elevated water storage tank project.

    April 16, 2014

  • Trojans get past Ramblers

    STAFF REPORT sports@dancomnews.com ATTICA, Ind. -- Regan Foster hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Covington softball team defeated Attica 8-5 on Tuesday in Wabash River Conference action. Andi Taylor had three hi

    April 16, 2014

  • Mayor looks for fire committee members by Labor Day DANVILLE - Now with budget discussions done for the time being, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is looking for people to serve on a committee to analyze the fire division and its future. He'd like recommendations from the committee to the city council by Labo

    April 16, 2014

  • Salary talks go on at meeting DANVILLE -- Few members of the Vermilion County Board came out strongly for or against the issue of salaries for county offices and positions. Members of the Vermilion County Board discussed the issue of salary increases for offices up for election i

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston group discusses economic development

    Economic growth was on the agenda Monday night in Hoopeston as about 50 people gathered at St. Anthony's Parish Hall to discuss an economic development strategy for the city.

    April 15, 2014

  • Covington Middle School students win at Purdue Science Fair

    Eighth-grader A.J. Kline and seventh-graders Shiley Claypool and Diana Shelby told school board members about their science fair projects Monday night. They competed at the Lafayette Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Purdue University last month.

    April 15, 2014

  • SpaceX delays station delivery launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A space station cargo ship will remain Earthbound for a while longer. With less than two hours remaining, the Space X company called off Monday's planned launch from Cape Canaveral. A new launch date was not set; the next atte

    April 15, 2014

  • Oakwood sells its water and sewer systems

    Village trustees are faced with a responsibility many small towns would love to have — what to do with $2 million in cash.

    April 15, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Must Read