USDA assistance targets water quality, invasive species

EAST LANSING, MI -- USDA is announcing a second round of funding for conservation financial assistance through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Assistance is available to farmers in designated watersheds to improve water quality and help control invasive species.

Areas eligible for GLRI funding include watersheds in the Saginaw Bay area, the Western Lake Erie Basin, and watersheds in northern Michigan adjoining Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Applications for financial assistance must be submitted to the USDA Natural Resoruces Conservation Service by May 20, 2016.

Financial assistance for practices related to invasive species is available to landowners in northern Michigan, the Saginaw Bay area and the Western Lake Erie Basin. Some targeted invasive species include phragmites, autumn olive and knapweed. Financial assistance is available for practices controlling invasive plants and establishing desired species.

In the Saginaw Bay area and the Western Lake Erie Basin, financial assistance is available to farmers for implementing conservation practices that reduce the amount of phosphorus from agricultural land entering surface water. USDA financial assistance is available for conservation practices including cover crops, filter strips, nutrient management and residue and tillage management.

More information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other USDA conservation programs, is available online at