Six watershed projects will receive $3.6 million in federal money over the next three years as part of a larger effort to reduce the nutrients flowing into the Mississippi River and then the Gulf of Mexico, causing the annual summer dead zone.

In total, 33 new projects and 40 existing projects along the Mississippi River were awarded $30 million to improve water quality and help agricultural operations, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In Louisiana, the projects will focus on northeast Louisiana and work on reducing fall tillage and keeping the soil covered with crops and other techniques. Keeping soil and nutrients on farmland, instead of allowing it to drain into river systems, improves water quality and helps farmers. The work joins two other existing watershed projects with $1.5 million in funding.

The new Louisiana projects are Alligator Bayou in West Carroll Parish, Little Creek in West Carroll Parish, Lake Providence-Tensas Bayou in East Carroll Parish, Upper Deer Creek in Franklin Parish, Lake Bruin and Van Buren Bayou in Tensas Parish, and Little Tensas Bayou-Bull Bayou in Madison Parish. The two existing projects are Cane Bayou/Little Creek in Richland Parish and Lake St. Joseph/Clark Bayou in Tensas Parish.