Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
America’s Great Lakes— Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario—hold 21 percent of the world’s surface fresh water, host habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species of concern, and provide drinking water for more than 40 million people.
Sport fishing, commercial fishing and Native American fishing are among the major industries that provide jobs in the Great Lakes region and impact its fragile ecosystem. Meanwhile, urban runoff and sprawl, sewage disposal, agriculture and toxic industrial effluent affect aquatic food chains, fish populations and human health.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) supports the Obama Administration's call for voluntary action to protect and restore priority watersheds in the region. NRCS is working with its conservation partners in the eight-state area to combat invasive species, protect watersheds and shorelines from non-point source pollution, and restore wetlands and other habitat areas.
As part of an interagency funding agreement initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the initiative encompasses a broad partnership of federal, state, local and nongovernmental organizations taking action in the Great Lakes Basin. NRCS is focusing conservation program funds in the following watersheds of extreme ecological sensitivity: Genesee River, Grand Calumet River and Harbor, Green Bay/Fox River, Maumee River, Saginaw River and St. Louis River.
Through financial assistance and technical assistance, NRCS is assisting private landowners with conservation planning and a variety of conservation practices, such as cover crops, conservation crop rotations, filter strips, prescribed grazing and wetlands restoration. NRCS Farm Bill conservation programs available to farmers and ranchers include Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easements.
For more information, visit: www.greatlakesrestoration.us.