ANN ARBOR, MICH. (December 21, 2018) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition praised final enactment of the federal Farm Bill as vital to the health of the Great Lakes. The bill, signed into law by President Donald Trump yesterday, contains conservation provisions that pay farmers to take specific actions to protect soil and water quality.

 

The Farm Bill—which contains the largest conservation investment in the federal budget—maintains conservation funding at current levels and increases investments in priority regions, such as the Great Lakes region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

 

Todd Ambs, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

 

“This Farm Bill is a winner. Farm conservation programs are key to restoring the Great Lakes and protecting our drinking water. We thank Sen. Debbie Stabenow and other members of the Great Lakes Congressional delegation for their leadership and persistence in negotiating a strong Farm Bill.”

 

Agriculture pollution is a serious threat to the health of the Great Lakes and inland waters that people depend on for drinking water, recreation and tourism. After heavy rain and snow melt, excessive fertilizer and manure run off farm fields and into local streams, which flow into rivers, inland lakes, and the Great Lakes themselves. Nutrient-laden farm runoff leads to toxic algae outbreaks that can poison drinking water and dead zones that threaten fish and wildlife and recreation.

 

Since 2004, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has been harnessing the collective power of more than 150 groups representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at www.healthylakes.org or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.