Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud Great Lakes Investment in Southeast Michigan to Reduce Algae Blooms in Lake Erie

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 $745,000 to help farmers reduce sediment runoff and nutrient loss and lessen the amount of phosphorus that runs into the River Raisin, which connects to Lake Erie. This funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and will help reduce algae blooms in Lake Erie.

"This support will help prevent algae blooms like the one in Lake Erie that contaminated drinking water in Southeast Michigan last August," 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."

"Michigan's thriving agricultural industry is critical to our state's future, and Michigan farmers understand the importance of promoting conservation and good stewardship of Michigan's rich farmlands," Senator Peters said. "This program provides important resources to help Michigan farmers protect vital natural resources like farmland and the Great Lakes for generations to come."

"The Stewardship Network is looking forward to working with the great team of experts and practitioners we've pulled together for this Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project," said Executive Director of The Stewardship Network Lisa Brush. "We will be putting best practices into use on the ground and showing the impact of these efforts to reduce nutrient runoff and help turn around the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie."

The Stewardship Network's "Cooling Hotspots: Motivating Farmers to Reduce Nutrient Losses" 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 partner with Michigan farmers to help them implement Best Management Practices, reduce sediment and nutrient loss, and prevent the discharge of 8,500 pounds of phosphorus into the River Raisin.

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.