Around the Basin
News and information
New Study on Green Infrastructure to Assess Stormwater Management
For full story, see: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Press Release
Funds Available to Farmers for Sustainable Agriculture Projects
This competitive grants program is exclusively for farmers and ranchers to carry out sustainable agriculture on their farms. The proposals' deadline is 4:30pm CDT Thursday, December 3, 2009. A total of approximately $400,000 is available for this program. Grant recipients have 24 months to complete their projects.Report on St. Clair River Erosion Delayed
A team studying upper Great Lakes levels has postponed a report on whether they have lost excessive amounts of water through an enlarged river channel so the group can have more time for research, officials said.
The International Upper Great Lakes Study said the document would be released Dec. 1, instead of Oct. 1 as previously scheduled. The delay will give the group more time to evaluate its research and await peer reviews of a preliminary report issued in May, spokesman John Nevin said.
For full article, see: mlive.com
University of Michigan Research Team Begins First Mapping To Forecast Future Of Great Lakes
The mapping and analysis project will produce the first regional synthesis of human impacts on the Great Lakes, thereby helping regional planners and conservation groups to prioritize their activities. The Erb Family Foundation is funding the $500,000, two-year project.
Full story available online at: University of Michigan News Service
Growing Biofuel Crops Sustainably In the Midwestern United States
At the University of Minnesota-Morris Biomass Gasification Facility, gasification researcher Jim Barbour and ARS soil scientist Jane Johnson evaluate potential biomass feedstocks.
As crop residues are being used to produce ethanol and other biofuels, a delicate balance has to be struck between how much is removed for energy and how much is left on the ground to protect soil from erosion, maintain soil organisms, and store carbon in the soil. The Agricultural Research Service has scientists in 18 states who are searching for that balance as a main goal of the Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP).
See full story here.
Ohio's Top Conservation Farmers Honored
For more information, see: Ohio DNR website
Urban Soil Initiative Starts in Ohio
For more information, see full story at: Ohio DNR website
Federal Funding Available for Land Preservation Projects in the Lake Erie Watershed
East Sandusky Bay
Communities within Ohio's Lake Erie Watershed seeking to acquire land for preservation and recreation can apply for up to $3 million per project in federal grants through the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). The program is administered in the state through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management.
Municipalities, park districts and other public entities can submit applications until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17. Sites of high-quality ecological, conservation, recreational, historical or aesthetic value will be top contenders for funding. Sites within Ohio's designated Coastal Management Area will be given highest priority, followed by sites in coastal counties and then other sites in the Lake Erie watershed. Applicants must provide at least 50%t of the total project cost as match.
Wisconsin Farmer Attitudes Regarding Native Grass Use in Grazing Systems
More tallgrass prairie has been lost than any other ecosystem in North America, and relict tallgrass prairie remains a threatened plant community. There are potential environmental and agronomic benefits to the reintroduction of native prairie warm-season grass species into grazing systems, but these benefits can only be realized if farmers are willing to use native grasses. Because of the important relationship between farmer attitudes and conservation behaviors, Wisconsin farmer attitudes were assessed concerning perceptions of native grasses.
For more information, see: full study
Secretary Vilsack Visits Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio on 2009 Rural Tour
As part of the administrationís Rural Tour, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Charlotte, Michigan for a bi-partisan Town Hall Meeting on July 13; Zanesville, Ohio on September 1; and at a community forum at a county fair outside LaCrosse, Wisconsin on July 16, 2009.
Some of the questions asked of Secretary Vilsack included concerns about food safety legislation and the effects of regulation on small producers. Secretary Vilsack told the audience that the USDA is developing policies to promote local agriculture and local food systems.
For a full blog of Rural Tour visits, tweets and more, visit the Rural Tour website.
Nearshore Areas of the Great Lakes
For more information, see: binational.net/solec/sogl2009_e.html