USDA and the state of Iowa will launch a $40 million program over the next 15 years to address water quality issues in 37 north-central Iowa counties.

The Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) will target 9,000 acres, providing financial incentives to producers to restore wetlands and install riparian buffer practices.

The wetlands portion of the project is designed to take tile and surface drain water and treat it in wetlands.

According to USDA, that part of the program will help cut water treatment costs for the Des Moines metro area, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce nitrogen loading to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.