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Government & Politics

Farm Bill Includes Provisions to Improve Water Quality

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WKSU
Lake Erie has faced dangerous algal blooms.

The federal Farm Bill that's now been signed into law includes provisions to protect water quality. In Lake Erie, agriculture is one of the primary sources of nutrients that leads to toxic algae. 
 

There’s more funding in the new Farm Bill to protect critical conservation areas including western Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay and Green Bay. 
 
Farmers upstream from those watersheds may get more help implementing voluntary programs like cover crops that help prevent nutrient runoff. Matt Doss is with the Great Lakes Commission. "The Great Lakes are going to be in a better position for securing funding for priority watersheds within the Great Lakes where we know that agricultural operations are having a negative impact on water quality and habitat," he said.
 
Past Ohio projects have focused on water quality monitoring and increasing farmer access to technical assistance. The legislation also recommends the Agriculture Secretary encourage practices that relate to water quality and protect source water.