Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District has been awarded a $163,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant by the Great Lakes Commission.
“This award represents national recognition of Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District’s important work to protect the health of our waterways and communities,” said Congressman Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force. “This grant is also a reminder of the need to protect Great Lakes Restoration Initiative resources, which have contributed to the cleanup of our rivers and lakes, as well as the recent growth of Western New York’s economy.”
The Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District project will install streambank stabilization practices, establish cover crops, and demonstrate the benefits of single-species cover crop usage in the Upper Buffalo Creek watershed.
“Working with local partners to implement these conservation practices is critical to protecting water quality in the Great Lakes region,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the GLC and commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “This program enables communities to take specific, measured steps toward reducing the sediment and nutrient runoff affecting their local watersheds.”
Every year, tons of polluting phosphorus and sediments enter the Great Lakes Basin, causing massive economic and environmental losses and damages and contributing to the formation of Harmful Algal Blooms and dead zones. The Great Lakes Commission manages the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program which strategically addresses this problem with a unique, targeted grass roots approach which awards grants to nonfederal agencies and nonprofit organizations in priority watersheds throughout the region.
This year, seven projects totaling over $900,000 were funded by the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program to install on-the-land practices to reduce phosphorus runoff and sedimentation into the Great Lakes.
Funding for this program is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, under a cooperative agreement between the Great Lakes Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.