Over the next few years, the Van Buren Conservation District (VBCD) and the local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are promoting two cost share programs for farmers to implement conservation practices like cover crops, no-till and filter strips. Depending on the practice, location, and eligibility, up to 90% of the cost of installing conservation practices may be cost-shared. These practices benefit farmers and help keep our waterways clean.
The VBCD’s project targets Pine and Mill Creek Watersheds (Hartford and Watervliet area) because both creeks are listed by the State of Michigan as impaired by bacteria and pathogens like E. coli. The overall project goal is to significantly reduce bacteria and pathogens as well as pollutants like sediment and nutrients, and restore water quality. This will occur with a combination of targeted installation of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), a septic system improvement strategy and education campaigns for both farmers and residents.
The NRCS is promoting the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), a bi-state project to improve and protect rivers, lakes, groundwater and wildlife habitat within the St. Joseph River Watershed. Farmers are eligible for cost share for BMPs that improve soil health, water quality and prevent fish and wildlife degradation. Applications for the next review cycle must be received by June 16, 2017. Please contact your local NRCS office for more information.
The Saint Joseph River Watershed provides critical economic and quality of life benefits to our community, and all residents share the ability to help keep it clean. For more information visit www.VanBurenCD.org or please contact Colleen Forestieri at (269) 657-4030 x5 or firstname.lastname@example.org.