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News Release

Great Lakes Restoration Watershed Initiative 2013 Sign-up

Eric Allness, GLRI Program Coordinator
608-662-4422 x 246

More information on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Map of watersheds  260 kb pdf

Apply by August 2, 2013

Special Funds Announced for Farmers in Lake Michigan Watersheds

MADISON, July 19, 2013 – Farmers in the Lower Fox River, Manitowoc-Sheboygan, and the Milwaukee River watersheds may be eligible for a special conservation initiative to help clean up the Great Lakes.  Wisconsin is one of eight states that have received federal funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that Wisconsin will receive $1 million for agricultural conservation practices to reduce erosion and protect water quality through this initiative.   This year, three priority watersheds were selected to focus clean-up efforts in Wisconsin.  (see map of watersheds below.)  

NRCS will rank applications received by August 2 for funding this year.   Over $1 million is available to help farmers with the cost of needed conservation practices, with particular emphasis on livestock concerns.   Priority watersheds are those with the most vulnerability and greatest need for protection of water quality.

“We have a great challenge and opportunity here,” said NRCS State Conservationist Jimmy Bramblett.  “Through thisspecial initiative, we can focus on the water quality issues that are troubling Lake Michigan, concentrating funds and effort in key watersheds.”

The Great Lakes hold 21 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.   Throughout the eight-state region, NRCS is working with farmers and conservation partners to reduce nutrients and sediment entering the Lakes, to combat invasive species, and restore wetlands and other habitats.

Producers can apply at their local USDA Service Center for funding to implement conservation practices that reduce the amount of phosphorus entering surface water from agricultural land.  Some practices eligible for funding include:

  • cover crops
  • conservation crop rotations
  • prescribed grazing
  • nutrient management
  • residue and tillage management
  • waste storage facilities and other practices.

Applications are selected on a competitive basis with highest scoring applications funded. Selected applicants will receive funding after conservation practices are applied.

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 Wisconsin go to