Stabenow Applauds $890,000 Investment to Improve Maple River Watershed Fishing

Support made possible by the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, created by Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill

Thursday, January 04, 2018

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $890,000, which will be matched by private investments, to improve water quality and fish habitat in the Maple River Watershed. This innovative new partnership is one of ten projects in Michigan made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program, authored by Stabenow.


“This project is another great example of businesses, non-profits and conservation leaders working alongside farmers at the local level to improve water quality and create new habitats for fishing in the Maple River Watershed,” said Senator Stabenow. “The new partnership will build on the historic investments in land and water conservation that we have already made across the state, which is strengthening local economies and supporting our way of life.”


The Maple Watershed Fish Habitat Improvement project will bring together 13 partners to restore fish habitat and improve water quality through a variety of conservation measures including buffer strips, and drainage management.


“We are excited to work with our conservation partners and producers in the Maple River Watershed by implementing a novel approach to improve water quality and fish habitat,” said Jeremiah Asher, Project Lead and Assistant Director of the Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University. “Senator Stabenow's leadership in protecting Michigan's land and water has helped to make this project possible.”


The bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill created a first-of-its-kind approach to conservation through partnerships between agriculture and conservation groups to preserve land and water, restore habitats for hunting and fishing, and protect the Great Lakes. These locally-led partnerships leverage private and public dollars to bring together partners to address regional conservation issues. In Michigan alone, ten projects have received over $57 million in federal funding, which is matched by over $57 million in partner contributions.


To build on this progress, Senator Stabenow recently introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen regional conservation partnerships in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program Improvement Act will provide more resources for partners to expand the reach of conservation projects, while cutting red-tape and increasing flexibility to attract new participants.