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News Release

Farmland Conservation Funding for Great Lakes Basin

Renae Anderson, Public Affairs Specialist
(608) 662-4422 ext 227

Great Lakes Initiative for Cleaner Water

Madison, Wis–– More than $24 million is available to agricultural producers to improve and protect the waters in the Great Lakes Basin, announced Pat Leavenworth, State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In Wisconsin, farmers in the Lower Fox River, Manitowoc/Sheboygan, and the Milwaukee River watersheds may be eligible for this special initiative to help clean up the Great Lakes. Wisconsin is one of eight states participating in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“Wisconsin will receive $4.1 million this year for the Great Lakes initiative, with much of that focused on reducing phosphorus runoff,” said Leavenworth. “Reducing phosphorus is the key to cleaner water in Lake Michigan.”

Two sub-watersheds are specifically targeted to reduce phosphorus and sediment load: the Upper Duck Creek in Outagamie County and the Upper East River in Brown, Manitowoc and Calumet Counties.

Apply by June 8

Producers in the eligible watersheds can apply at their local USDA Service Center for funding to install conservation systems to reduce runoff and erosion. NRCS specialists provide technical assistance to help determine the best conservation practices to improve and protect the land and water. Applications to install conservation practices through GLRI are being accepted now through June 8, 2012.

GLRI focuses on conservation practices that are most effective at reducing farm runoff, and practices that establish fish and wildlife habitat and control invasive species. Examples of these practices include waste storage facilities, crop residue management, no-till, nutrient management, tree planting, wetland creation, upland wildlife management, and brush management, among others.
Agriculture is just one of the areas that are part of the entire Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Other agencies and funds are dedicated to urban runoff and sprawl, sewage disposal, and industrial pollutants that threaten the Great Lakes’ water quality, fish populations, and human health.

Interested producers and landowners should contact their local USDA Service Center before June 8, 2012, to apply.

For more information, visit  , or contact the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center serving your county.

For more on Great Lakes Initiative, see programs/glri.html

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.