Stabenow Applauds Nearly $10 Million Public Investment for Two Land and Water Conservation Projects in Michigan

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s announcement of nearly $10 million in federal funding, that will be matched by private investments, to support land and water conservation in the Lower Grand River Watershed and Huron River Watershed. Support for these two projects – as well as six ongoing projects in Michigan – comes through the 2014 Farm Bill’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program, authored by Stabenow.

“Today’s announcement is great news for our farmers and local partners who are committed to restoring the Lower Grand River and Huron River watersheds and builds on the historic investments in land and water conservation that we have already made across Michigan,” said Senator Stabenow. “When we established this program in the Farm Bill, it was exactly these types of innovative partnerships – along with the ongoing partnerships to protect the Saginaw Bay, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, St. Joseph, and others – that we envisioned.”

“The Grand Valley Metro Council is very pleased to hear that funds were awarded through the RCPP program to further our conservation efforts in the Lower Grand River Watershed,” said John Weiss, Executive Director of the Grand Valley Metro Council. “The funds will restore habitat in the Grand River and address resource concerns in agricultural areas upstream. We are excited to be working with so many partners on this regionally significant project.”

“This opportunity to bring funds to our region for conservation speaks to the capabilities of the partners and their desire to leverage actions as individual organizations into a partnership that benefits the entire Huron River watershed and the Great Lakes,” said Douglas Koop, Executive Director of the Legacy Land Conservancy.

Details of the Michigan projects:


$8 Million – Lower Grand River Watershed Habitat Restoration – Farmland Conservation Project


The Farmland Conservation Project will receive $8,000,000 to help farmers and landowners address water quality concerns, restore habitats for fish and wildlife, and revitalize 2.5 miles of the Lower Grand River Watershed. The Grand Valley Metro Council and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will partner with over 20 local organizations on this project. The Lower Grand River Watershed includes the City of Grand Rapids as well as Northern Kent, Newaygo and Muskegon Counties.


$1.8 Million – The Huron River Initiative


The Huron River Initiative will receive $1,825,880 to help farmers and landowners address soil and water quality concerns in the upper Huron River Watershed. The Legacy Land Conservancy and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will partner with five local organizations on this project. The Huron River Watershed spans a land area of more than 900 square miles and drains water to the Huron River through hundreds of tributary creeks and streams. The Huron River’s drainage area includes seven Michigan counties including: Oakland, Livingston, Ingham, Jackson, Washtenaw, Wayne and Monroe.