Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that $2 million in conservation funds will be sent to Ohio to help implement conservation techniques that will help improve the water quality. USDA will also be partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to expand “boots-on-the-ground” capacity in the area. USDA will also be contributing an additional $1 million in technical assistance which will in turn be leveraged by the NFWF along with other public and private entities. The new funding is the latest contribution of resources to the Lake Erie watershed from the USDA, which has invested 46 million in the watershed since 2009.
Tom stated that the voluntary conservation efforts supported by this new funding will help improve water quality in Lake Erie. Many Farmers have increased the efforts to protect our water and USDA would like to provide support and incentives for their continued action. USDA will be offering technical and financial assistance through their direct relationships with the farmers. They will also be partnering with private and public groups on continuing conservation efforts in the Great Lakes basin.
The Agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NRCS is accepting applications from farmers for resources that will help with the planting of cover crops. The planting of cover crops will offer the best protection to prevent soil and nutrient erosion in the next season. The funding will be allocated to the Western Lake Erie Basin to help farmers and partners accelerate water quality conservation activities to benefit Lake Erie.