Zorn: State grant will help improve Lake Erie water

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Friday applauded a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant to the Monroe County Conservation District to help protect water quality.

“This is great news for everyone who enjoys spending time on Lake Erie or who relies on the lake for drinking water,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “People in our area are keenly aware of the annual problem of harmful algae blooms on Lake Erie. As part of a comprehensive effort to combat the lake’s algae blooms, this grant will provide valuable resources and information to area farmers so they can use best practices and help improve the water quality of the lake.”

The Monroe County Conservation District has been awarded a $400,000 Soil Testing to Reduce Agriculture Nutrient Delivery (STRAND) grant — from federal funds — to reduce total phosphorus and soluble reactive phosphorus through nutrient management and best management practices focusing on sustainable change in water quality.

STRAND is a collaboration between MDARD and local agriculture and conservation partners to help farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Erie. To reduce phosphorus runoff, STRAND will work with farmers to increase adoption of grid/zone soil testing and other nutrient management practices.