A multi-state effort to improve water quality and soil in the Western Lake Erie Basin has been awarded millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. The effort is being led by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, which received nearly $8 million for the five-year Lake Erie Conservation Partnership program.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ohio State University are working together with Indiana to focus on erosion control and nutrient and water management. The USDA says funding allows for new conservation programs in the three states to be used as demonstration sites of soil conservation practices.
“Indiana is thrilled to be a partner in this outstanding conservation effort. The work done by these conservation groups and landowners is critical to the continued improvement of water quality and soil health. I am looking forward to working with our partnering states to the north and east,” said ISDA Director Bruce Kettler.
The USDA funding is part of a Regional Conservation Partnership Program to promote coordination of NRCS conservation work. USDA is investing over $23 million into three RCPP in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
“The Regional Conservation Partnership Program shows public-private partnerships working at their best,” said Jerry Raynor, NRCS state conservationist in Indiana. “These new projects will harness the power of partnerships to bring about science-based solutions to improve the health and resilience of the Western Lake Erie Water Basin, enhancing water quality and soil productivity in the region.”