USDA announces a further $41 million in conservation funding for Western Lake Erie Basin
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will use the funding to implement an initiative that will allow farmers to reduce runoff into the waterways of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. Added to the previously committed $36 million in funding, the NRCS will invest $77 million in the basin over the next three years.
"The challenges that face Lake Erie require science-based solutions and a commitment from all partners to address the factors that impact water quality,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The area's farmers and ranchers have already made great strides in helping to reduce runoff, and with this new investment they will be able to do even more. Farmers and landowners will be able to add conservation measures to about 870,000 acres in this critical watershed, effectively doubling the acres of conservation treatment that can be accomplished in the three years."
The NRCS’s conservation efforts have impacted more than 580,000 acres over 2,000 conservation contracts, allowing landowners and farmers to implement science-based conservation measures that reduce their annual nutrient and sediment losses.