Michigan Watersheds Targeted for Phosphorus Reduction
Brian Buehler, Public Affairs Specialist
EAST LANSING, May 22, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has over $2.2 million in conservation funds available for farmers in targeted central Michigan watersheds. The funds are available to help farmers incorporate conservation activities that will reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching the Great Lakes.
“This funding will help farmers protect our state’s most valuable natural resource, the Great Lakes,” said State Conservationist Garry Lee. “Reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the Great Lakes will improve water quality, aquatic and wildlife habitat, and recreation.”
The funding was provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and is available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Farmers have until July 1, 2013, to apply for the funding. Phosphorus entering the Great Lakes from agricultural land and other sources contribute to algal blooms that degrade water quality and aquatic habitat. Areas eligible for the funding include the Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed and the Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread Creeks Watershed.
Producers can apply at their local USDA office for funding to implement conservation practices that reduce the amount of phosphorus entering groundwater from agricultural land. Some practices eligible for funding include cover crops, conservation crop rotations, windbreaks, prescribed grazing, nutrient management and residue and tillage management. Applications are selected on a competitive basis with highest scoring applications funded. Selected applicants will receive funding after conservation practices are applied.
The Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed includes portions of Shiawassee, Saginaw, Genesee and Livingston counties. The Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread Creeks Watershed includes parts of Genesee, Lapeer and Oakland counties.
USDA works with state, local, and Tribal governments and private landowners to conserve and protect our nation’s natural resources – helping preserve our land, and clean our air and water. For more information about the USDA Great Lakes conservation funding in Michigan go to www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov .