Chairwoman Stabenow Convenes U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on Water Quality

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today examined different ways farmers and ranchers can help protect water quality in the Great Lakes as part of a hearing of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee.

"The Great Lakes are essential to Michigan's economy and our way of life, so addressing threats to the quality of these waters is critically important," said Stabenow. "This hearing helped demonstrate that farmers are a significant part of the solution in responding to these threats through conservation initiatives, which was a major focus of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Sen. Stabenow's hearing, Farmers and Fresh Water: Voluntary Conservation to Protect our Land and Waters, is part of a larger effort to find solutions to water quality issues across the country. Those testifying include Michael Collins, Mayor of Toledo. Earlier this year, a toxic algae bloom was discovered in Lake Erie that prevented communities in the Greater Toledo area and Southeast Michigan from drinking or using their tap water.

Sen. Stabenow is Vice Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force and author of the 2014 Farm Bill, which made the most significant investments in our nation's land and water conservation in decades. She played a key role in establishing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010 and has strongly advocated to fund this Initiative. Just this fall, after decades of efforts, two toxic sites in Michigan were given a clean bill of health as a result of Great Lakes Restoration funding.