$73 million is to be invested this year to rehabilitate and assess dams across the nation to ensure this critical infrastructure is protecting Americans from harm, securing public health and expanding water supplies in drought affected areas. About 150 projects and assessments in 23 states will be funded. Last year, NRCS made changes to the watershed rehabilitation program to allow for projects that also help increase water supply. Half of this year’s dam assessments, including 15 in drought-stricken California, will assess the feasibility of using watershed rehabilitation funds to mitigate drought. There are nearly 12,000 dams across the United States.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the 9th outbreak of H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Minnesota. This outbreak involves a flock of 310,000 turkeys. All of the birds may be culled as a safety precaution. Officials are continuing to ask poultry owners to increase biosecurity measures, prevent contact between wild and domestic birds and contact state agencies right away if they see illness or unusual bird deaths among their flocks.