Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud Great Lakes Investment in Saginaw Bay Watershed

Thursday, March 26, 2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Gary Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $2,558,853 to reduce nutrient runoff and soil erosion in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used to help farmers implement conservation practices on 10,000 acres of cropland in the Saginaw Bay watershed.

"This investment is great news, and will help build on the public-private partnerships through the Farm Bill that will clean up Saginaw Bay, restore wildlife habitat, and protect Lake Huron," said Senator Stabenow. "Today's announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways."

"This project will help ensure agricultural producers around Saginaw Bay have the resources they need to implement best practices for conservation and protect Lake Huron," Senator Peters said. "Michigan's economy is deeply intertwined with the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, and this investment from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will bolster our efforts to prevent harmful algal blooms and other contamination that threatens Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron."

"The Nature Conservancy is pleased to utilize funding from the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to advance water quality improvements for the Saginaw Bay Watershed," said Nature Conservancy Director of Government Relations Richard Bowman. "We are excited about having healthy agriculture and healthy aquatic ecosystems as we move forward."

The Nature Conservancy project - one of seven projects chosen in Michigan to receive a total of more than $5.7 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards - will help the group administer a program to reimburse farmers for implementing conservation practices.

Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes.