Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion & Sediment Control
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2008 Annual Report

:: 2008: The Year In Review
:: Facts and Figures
:: Basin Program Projects and Maps
:: Around the Basin
:: Upcoming Events

2008: The Year in Review

Key news for our region is that the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control was the only Great Lakes-specific program authorized in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the Farm Bill). Support from several Great Lakes states Senators aided greatly in the programs reauthorized in the new farm bill passed by Congress earlier this year.

Gary Overmier photo
Gary Overmier, Project Manager
Great Lakes Commission
The program is administered by the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) for the United States Department of Agriculture. Millions of dollars are spent each year in the Great Lakes to dredge sediments from harbors, remove it from our drinking water and reduce it in waters of the lakes. Preventative programs such as the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control, which promotes proper land use practices, can substantially reduce these economic and environmental costs at a fraction of the these annual costs.

The program provides grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to control erosion and sedimentation and to limit the input of associated nutrients and toxic contaminants to the Great Lakes. It also informs citizens of the damages caused to the Great Lakes by these pollutants. Since the programís inception in 1991, 406 local projects have been funded. These projects have prevented an estimated 2.1 million tons of soil and 6.5 million pounds of phosphorus from polluting the Great Lakes and tributaries.

2008 funding was reduced to about one quarter of past annual appropriations. Only 17 additional grants were funded in 2008, amounting to two or three grants per state. The program continued to administer prior grant cycles, during the 2008 program year with the Great Lakes Basin Program staff managing 66 active grants.

Tasks involved in managing the 66 projects include answering questions from grantees, sending out award letters for new projects, approving project progress and final reports, assuring each report has met the appropriate goals, processing payments, updating databases and summarizing each completed project to be highlighted in the Basin Programís searchable online project files.

Other highlights from this year’s efforts include:

The Sediment Task Force conducted almost all of their business over the telephone and via e-mail. The Task Force’s role in managing the Basin Program is critical. It is only one of two standing task forces at the GLC. The Task Force provides direction to the Basin Program, sets the guidelines for the annual grant program, selects the grants to be funded, insures the grantees have met the requirements of their grants, and approves the progress and final reports of grantees in their individual states.

The table top display was used at several state conservation association meeting and was seen by an estimated 200 people during the year.

The NACD Great Lakes Committee reorganized under the guidelines of the NACD and became the NACD Great Lakes Regional Policy Group. The Basin Program provided staff and financial assistance to the group as part of our education/out reach effort. This group represents all the conservation districts in the Great Lakes basin, the main governmental agencies involved with soil erosion and sediment control in the Great Lakes basin.

Keeping It On The Land, the Basin Program newsletter, underwent substantial change during its tenth year of publication when the newsletter went digital. Keepingitontheland.net allows for more content, more pictures and faster updates. Over 2,000 newsletter recipients were sent a postcard asking them to subscribe to the new online version. To subscribe and receive program updates and announcements of new issues, click here.

Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150.  www.glc.org. GLIN Partner