U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced support that will help Michigan farmers and landowners implement conservation practices to protect the River Raisin and Western Lake Erie. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality received grants through the 2012 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to give farmers additional tools to prevent harmful nutrients from entering the watershed. The announcement highlights the critical role Michigan agriculture plays in conserving our natural resources, Great Lakes, and waterways- benefiting the more than one million Michigan hunters and anglers who support over 46,000 jobs across our state.
"Protecting the Great Lakes is part of who we are-it's in our DNA," said Senator Stabenow. "Michigan's farmers and landowners are on the frontlines in protecting the River Raisin and Lake Erie, which preserves our agricultural lands and benefits Michigan hunters and anglers. As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I'm committed to continuing to work with Michigan's agriculture community to help lead the charge in protecting the Great Lakes for generations to come."
Earlier this year, Chairwoman Stabenow joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at Cabela's in Dundee to announce resources to help farmers protect the Western Lake Erie Basin. Stabenow authored the bipartisan Farm Bill, which consolidates 23 existing conservation programs into 13 programs to cut spending while maintaining existing tools to protect and conserve land, water and wildlife. Nearly 650 conservation organizations across all 50 states support this approach.
The Farm Bill passed the Senate in June by a vote of 64-35 but has not been taken up by the House of Representatives.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will receive $350,000 and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will receive $265,980.