Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
NRCS is assisting with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by focusing technical and financial assistance on priority watersheds. Private landowners and tribes within these watersheds are encouraged to utilize this assistance to implement conservation activities that will benefit the Great Lakes ecosystem. Through GLRI, financial assistance is available through existing NRCS programs. A working group including NRCS-Michigan staff and conservation partners developed a plan that identified priority watersheds and conservation practices to most effectively address resource concerns affecting the Great Lakes. The resource concerns identified include non-point source pollution from agricultural activities, degradation of wildlife and aquatic habitats, and terrestrial invasive species. High priority watersheds were determined using existing watershed assessments and priorities determined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
2013 Second Sign-Up for Phosphorus Priority Areas
A sign-up is underway in two mid-Michigan watersheds for practices that will help reduce phosphorus from agricultural land from entering the Great Lakes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has over $2.2 million in conservation funds available for farmers in targeted central Michigan watersheds.
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. The two watersheds are located primarily in Genesee and Shiawassee counties with smaller portions in surrounding counties.
Map of Phosphorus Priority Areas
Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread Creeks Watershed
Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed
Eligible Practices for Phosphorus Priority Areas