USDA Conservation Assistance Available for Great Lakes Basin
Michigan Watersheds Targeted for Phosphorus Reduction
EAST LANSING, May 4, 2012 – More than $5 million is available to Michigan agricultural producers and landowners to improve and protect the waters and resources in the Great Lakes Basin, announced Garry Lee, state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications to install specific conservation practices through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) are being accepted for priority ranking through June 8, 2012.
Michigan producers in the Saginaw Bay Watershed and the Western Lake Erie Basin can apply at their local USDA office for funding to improve conservation on agricultural land. Funding for wildlife habitat improvement is also available in these areas in addition to northern Michigan in areas near Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Farmers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS specialists who can provide technical assistance to help determine the best conservation practices to improve and protect the resources on their land.
“The GLRI is a multi-agency group working together to improve and protect the waters of the Great Lakes Basin,” said Lee. “NRCS is proud to be able to work with farmers and landowners on private lands who are doing their part to improve this resource.”
This year GLRI focuses on practices that have the highest benefit for reducing water quality degradation due to agricultural runoff, and practices that establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat and assist in controlling invasive species. Examples of these practices include waste storage facilities, residue management, nutrient management, tree planting, wetland creation, upland wildlife management, and brush management, among others.
Of the $5 million in funding for Michigan, $2 million is specifically directed at reducing phosphorus loading in the Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread creek watershed that includes parts of Genesee, Lapeer and Oakland counties.
For more information about the USDA Great Lakes conservation funding in Michigan go to the NRCS-Michigan GLRI Web page.
A listing of NRCS local offices in Michigan is available online at http://www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/Field Offices.html.